Anglais médical - La sclérose en plaques

Publié le 23/08/2017


Ce nouveau cours d’anglais, élaboré par Virginia Allum, auteur et consultante EMP (English for Medical Purposes) traite de la sclérose en plaques. Les corrigés des exercices sont à retrouver en PDF en bas de page.

N'hésitez pas à vous servir du dictionnaire en ligne Wordreference. Vous trouverez à la fin de cet article les corrections des exercices qui vous sont proposés téléchargeables au format pdf.

Multiple sclerosis : new research offers hope for cure

Before you start, think about these questions :

  1. What do you know about multiple sclerosis ?
  2. What kind of disease is it?
  3. Is it more common in women or men?

Activity 1

Match the terms with their meaning.

1. progressive a) parts of the cell which contain genetic material
2. flare-up b) something against the body’s own tissues
3. remission c) sexual identity, usually male or female
4. myelin sheath d) to identify a disease
5. auto-immune e) relapse or return of an illness
6. mitochondria f) lessening of symptoms of a disease
7. diagnose g) covering of nerve cells
8. gender h) describes a disease which is getting worse

Activity 2

Read the text below and decide on the most appropriate title for the article.

A disease which causes the body to turn on its own immune system, MS affects over 2 million people globally. The disease predominantly targets women and is usually diagnosed during the second and third decade of life.

There are four types of multiple sclerosis, named according to the way they act on the body over time. The most common form, RRMS (Relapsing-Remitting MS) is the form around 85% of people are diagnosed with initially. Named after the temporary flare-ups or remissions which occur, as new symptoms appear. Most people with RRMS will eventually progress to SPMS (Secondary-Progressive MS). Symptoms will worsen and relapses may not be halted by remissions. The disease progresses at a different rate for each person and can be hard to treat.

Less common is PPMS (Primary-Progressive MS) which is characterised by a slow deterioration from the beginning with or without relapses. PRMS (Progressive-Relapsing MS) is a rare form of MS affecting around 5% of people with MS. The disease progresses with acute relapses, with or without remissions. In all forms of MS, except PPMS, women outnumber men 3 to 1. The genders are equally represented in PPMS.

Across the world, multiple sclerosis occurs more frequently in colder countries, possibly associated with a lack of vitamin D.  Some groups of people appear to have a lower genetic risk than others, e.g. Africans and Asians. There are also gender differences, in that the condition is more common in women than in men.

Recent joint research between the Universities of Exeter and Alberta has isolated a protein, called Rab32 from brain tissues of people with MS. The protein is not present in healthy brain tissues. The research suggests that the protein causes the mitochondria of the cell to malfunction. The result for an MS sufferer is nerve damage and ultimately nerve death.

  1. Multiple Sclerosis a Multifactorial Issue
  2. Protein Research May Hold MS Answers
  3. Vitamin D and Genetic Risks the key to MS
  4. Gender Inequality in MS

Activity 3

Complete the sentences. Use the words in the boxes to help you.

  • isolated
  • flare-ups
  • auto-immune
  • rates
  • resulting
  • diagnosed
  • predominantly
  • deficiencies
  1. Multiple Sclerosis is an ______________ disease which affects over 2 million people worldwide.
  2. Most people are ____________ with Relapsing-Remitting MS at first, often eventually progressing to Secondary-Progressive MS.
  3. Apart from Primary-Progressive MS, all forms of MS are __________________ female.
  4. Relapses or ____________ in the disease can be followed by remissions, that is, improvements in MS symptoms.
  5. It is thought that ____________ in Vitamin D which are more common in colder countries, may be one of the factors in the development of the disease.
  6. Genetics appears to play a part as well, as people of African and Asian heritage have lower incidence ____________ of the MS.
  7. The Rab32 protein is not found in normal brains, but has been__________ from cerebral tissue samples of MS sufferers by joint researchers in Exeter and Alberta.
  8. Rab32 protein causes cell malfunction ____________ in neural damage.

Activity 4

Complete the notes about the following abstract.

Is hypovitaminosis D one of the environmental risk factors for multiple sclerosis ? Pierrot-Deseilligny C1, Souberbielle JC. from: – Abstract

The role of hypovitaminosis D as a possible risk factor for multiple sclerosis is reviewed. First, it is emphasized that hypovitaminosis D could be only one of the risk factors for multiple sclerosis and that numerous other environmental and genetic risk factors appear to interact and combine to trigger the disease.

Secondly, the classical physiological notions about vitamin D have recently been challenged and the main new findings are summarized. This vitamin could have an important immunological role involving a number of organs and pathologies, including autoimmune diseases and multiple sclerosis.

Furthermore, human requirements for this vitamin are much higher than previously thought, and in medium- or high-latitude countries, they might not be met in the majority of the general population due to a lack of sunshine and an increasingly urbanized lifestyle.

Thereafter, the different types of studies that have helped to implicate hypovitaminosis D as a risk factor for multiple sclerosis are reviewed. In experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, vitamin D has been shown to play a significant immunological role.

Diverse epidemiological studies suggest that a direct chain of causality exists in the general population between latitude, exposure to the sun, vitamin D status and the risk of multiple sclerosis. New epidemiological analyses from France support the existence of this chain of links.

Recently reported immunological findings in patients with multiple sclerosis have consistently shown that vitamin D significantly influences regulatory T lymphocyte cells, whose role is well known in the pathogenesis of the disease.

Lastly, in a number of studies on serum levels of vitamin D in multiple sclerosis, an insufficiency was observed in the great majority of patients, including at the earliest stages of the disease. The questionable specificity and significance of such results is detailed here.

Based on a final global analysis of the cumulative significance of these different types of findings, it would appear likely that hypovitaminosis D is one of the risk factors for multiple sclerosis.

  • Low Vit D levels one of the (1) causes of / risk factors for / consequences of MS
  • The Environmental and genetics may (2) trigger / treat / worsen MS
  • Vit D possible (3) cure for / antagonist of / role in autoimmune diseases and MS
  • Higher (4) levels of / incidence of / need for Vit D than previously thought
  • (5) Lack of / Excess of / Slight reduction in sunshine may lower Vit D levels
  • Studies suggest (6) direct cause / possible link / no correlation between latitude, sunlight, vitamin D levels status and MS
  • Vit D (7) directly influences / has no effect on / is found in T cells
  • Low Vit D noted in (8) final / earliest / some stages of the disease

Activity 5

Read the text and answer the questions True or False.

The effects of temperature on MS

Around 50% of people with multiple sclerosis report heat sensitivity. Many people find that at least some of their symptoms get worse when they get hotter, while other people are affected more by the cold.
As a person overheats, changes are noticed, e.g. difficulties with balance, weakness, fatigue, vision changes or changes in sensation. Some people find concentrating more difficult and may also notice their reflexes are slower.

Whilst body warming causes no long-term harmful effects, uncomfortable symptoms usually return, as a person’s body cools down. Residual fatigue can last for several hours to a few days after over-heating.

Overheating can be brought on by activity, strenuous exercise, taking hot baths or fever. People with MS are more sensitive to warm environments than people without MS and many people with MS find hot weather difficult.

Certain activities in cooler weather, such as using a hair dryer on a high setting can be problematical. Colder weather may cause sensory symptoms. Muscles feel stiffer in the cold, causing mobility difficulties. Low temperatures can bring on spasms or cause tightness in the muscles. Unfortunately, there is a scarcity of research into the effects of cold on MS symptoms, but anecdotal evidence appears to suggest that keeping warm is more important than keeping cool.

  1. The majority of MS sufferers are affected by overheating.

    True / False

  2. The symptoms of a body warming do not cause chronic problems.

    True / False

  3. Both high and low temperatures can cause tiredness which can last for several hours.

    True / False

  4. Overheating can be caused in several ways, including high temperatures relating to infection and overexertion when exercising.

    True/ False

  5. Cold weather can cause MS sufferers to have difficulty moving around, because of muscle tightness.

    True / False

Téléchargez les corrections au format PDF

Virginia ALLUM  Author and Consultant in English for Medical Purposes

Source :