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What Would the Gaming Industry Look Like Without Mario?

I’m always interested in scenarios in which we examine the “what-ifs.” In some cases, that means discussing what might have happened to RIM if it saw the touchscreen craze coming. In others, it’s a look at what Apple might have been without Steve Jobs. But this time around, I want to take it away from the real world and put it in the digital realm: what might the game industry look like today without Mario?Nintendo haters will, of course, cringe at such a question. For years, they’ve been saying that Mario hasn’t improved all that much and his importance has been largely overblown. The gaming industry, they say, was going to end up at this point despite Mario’s presence, and to say otherwise is ludicrous.

But I’m not so sure I can agree. When Mario first made an appearance on the Nintendo Entertainment System, the gaming industry was in a state of disarray. Retailers weren’t sure that consoles could appeal to consumers and the crash the preceded the mess was still looming in all gamers’ minds. It appeared to many that in-home gaming would die sooner rather than later.

But with the NES came the kind of innovation, thanks to Shigeru Miyamoto, that captivated gamers and made them realize that maybe there really was an opportunity to enjoy playing titles in the home again.

Without Miyamoto’s talent, the NES would have never succeeded. And Nintendo, a company that was once known for playing cards, likely wouldn’t have a place in the industry as we know it today.

[aquote]The NES proved the “Big Bang” moment of gaming[/aquote]

I think a solid argument can be made that the NES proved to be the “Big Bang” moment of gaming. Sure, there was gaming before the NES, but its success prompted other companies to invest heavily in the market. Would there have been a Sega Genesis without Nintendo’s success? Would Sonic have ever existed? Would Sony even be a player in that market today?

It was the Super Mario franchise that kept Nintendo afloat over the years, and the set of games that even to this day, other companies would love to emulate. Mario played an integral role in keeping the gaming industry going in the 16-bit days and set off a 3D craze when he landed on the Nintendo 64. Super Mario titles through the 1990s were the benchmark by which all other games were judged.

Today, Nintendo is hurting, and there is some concern that the Wii U might not be able to get it out of its current mess. But chances are, its Super Mario title will be wildly popular and a key reason many people buy its console. A similar scenario has played out since the beginning, both in the console space and the portable market. When Nintendo launches a Mario game, it knows it’ll sell more hardware.

The funny thing is, all of those games might have also helped its competitors sell more hardware. Mario is the character that welcomed young people into gaming and those people turned around and became hardcore players that bought every console out there.

So, perhaps we should thank old Mario more often. Without him, there’s a very good chance that the gaming industry wouldn’t look anything like it does today.

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How To Paint A Countertop To Look Like Marble: Budget Countertop Redo

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Learn how to paint countertops to look like marble. This is a great way to update your kitchen on a budget in just a weekend. For about $200, you can redo your laminate countertops to look like marble.

If you’re interested in more kitchen updates, you might like this post on painting laminate cabinets.

This post contains affiliate links. By purchasing an item through an affiliate link, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Although my laminate countertops were a neutral color, I hated them. They stained so easily and always looked dirty.

Everything that touched them stained the surface. It was so annoying. The fronts were also painted and were flaking off with use.


So we knew that we needed to do something to fix them. A complete kitchen renovation isn’t in the budget right now, so we looked for a cheaper DIY solution.

In our last home, we covered the countertop in a thin layer of concrete and sealed them with epoxy.

I loved how those surfaces held up over time, so we wanted something similar.

So I decided to try out the Gianni marble epoxy countertop kit.

The kit contains almost everything you need to paint and seal your countertop. The only thing I added was more tarps because my kitchen has a bar ledge that needed to be coated as well. I also needed painter’s tape and a roller tray, both of which I already had.

By the way, the kit covered way more than it says it will. I ordered extra because I didn’t want to run out of supplies halfway through the process.

Now I have enough to redo all 3 of our bathroom countertops as well.

I had a ton of concerns before I got started, but I found the process much easier and even fun to complete. Seriously, that was the most fun I’ve had in a DIY project in a really long time.

For about $200, I was able to redo my laminate countertops in a weekend.


Is this kit hard to use?

This kit was really easy to use and very forgiving. The paint went really far and covered really well. I needed 2 full coats of paint and 1 touch-up coat for the corners where it met the backsplash. It probably took about 1 1/2 hours, if that.

The marbling part was so fun and easy to correct if you created an ugly spot. It took me about 2 hours to complete.

The epoxy was pretty painless as well. I think it took about 30 minutes for this process. I had my husband help me, but I could have done it by myself.

Do the paint and epoxy smell bad?

Neither one smelled bad. The paint smelled like normal paint and the smell went away pretty quickly.

The epoxy smelled a little, but it went away too and then strangely started smelling like toilet cleaner as it dried.

Nothing toxic or dangerous though.

Do you need artistic talent to paint a marble faux finish?

While I think artistic talent helps with the process, it’s not necessary. The process includes a lot of blending and spraying with water, which is pretty forgiving.

If you hate how it looks, you can either spray it with water and wipe it away or let it dry and paint over it.

There were a few areas where I didn’t blend it enough, so I sponged white paint over those areas to correct the areas.

How messy is this process?

The paint is super thick and doesn’t drip. (Use a drop cloth if you’re nervous though.)

This epoxy was a lot easier to use than other brands that I’ve used in the past. It did spill onto the drop cloth, but it wasn’t a lot of it.

Gloves are included in the kit, but if you get the epoxy on your hands, rubbing alcohol removes the stickiness.

How long does it take for the epoxy to dry?

We applied the epoxy around 7 pm and it was dry to the touch by the next morning.

We waited another day before replacing everything. But I waited longer to put our heavy mixer back in place, just in case.

Do you really need to keep pets away?

This part worried me the most. My dog sheds like crazy.

We tried to keep her calm and not roughhouse with her during this process. We also applied it during her quiet hours. (If you have pets, you probably know when they get the zoomies and when they nap a lot.)

Before you get started, wipe the countertops with a microfiber to remove any dust or hair.

You can meticulously go around and remove hair with a pair of tweezers.

The epoxy dries pretty quickly, so I’ve only noticed maybe 2 pieces of small dog hair in it.

If you have cats that get on the countertop, keep them away since it needs several hours to dry.

Do you need to remove the sink and appliances?

We removed our sink because the faucet is too close to the bar ledge and it would have been impossible to get around it. (We also just bought it so we didn’t want to take any chances.)

We taped our stove edges off with no issues.

So it’s up to you, but it’s possible to tape everything off. Be generous with the tape and plastic tarps!

Do you need to use epoxy or can you just use poly?

The epoxy sealer is really easy to use and dries to a durable finish that’s perfect for kitchen use. It can withstand daily cleaning and regular wear and tear. (In my last house, it was still looking good after about 5 years!)

Poly can be used in areas that aren’t used as heavily, like a bathroom. Be sure to use polycrylic, the water-based version, so that it doesn’t yellow over time.

Poly will wear away after time and may need to be touched up or repainted after time.

Do you need to prime or sand your countertops?

For light-colored laminate countertops, this isn’t necessary.

However, if your countertops are darker or shiny, extra prep might be a good idea. Primer will allow you to use fewer coats of paint and help it stick better.

Shiny surfaces like granite, solid surface or quartz should be sanded lightly and cleaned thoroughly before painting.

How to Paint a Countertop to Look Like Marble Supplies Needed:

Please forgive the state of the kitchen as we worked. We had to repair a few drawers so they’re missing in the photos. I was also touching up the wall paint.

Countertop Prep Work Painting the Countertop

Mix the paint well before using it. It’s very thick.

Use the included foam brush to get the corners of the countertop.

Use the small cloth roller to paint the larger flat parts of the counter. The roller covers much better than the foam brush so use it as much as possible.

Let the first coat dry for 4 hours.

Apply this second coat, paying attention to the thin parts near the edges and corners.

Let the paint dry for at least 1 hour.

Touch up any areas as needed.

Let them dry for an hour before getting started on the marble faux finish.

Painting the Marble Faux Finish

This kit comes with a foam core board to practice on, which is nice. It doesn’t work exactly the same, but it’s nice to feel confident before getting started.

Practice board

The instructions also recommend planning out the direction of your veins to look like the marble came from a slab. It’s also recommended to google image search marble textures.

Mix the gray veining paint.

Use the tiny paintbrush to add veins. Hold the brush at the end and let the bristles roll in places to make thicker lines.

Make sure that your lines have movement and aren’t perfectly straight.

Use the bigger paintbrush to dab at the line to break up the lines.

Spray the paint with water to dilute the paint a bit. The more water you add, the softer your veins look.

You can add more paint during this process or you can let it dry and see how it turns out.

Spray in one direction against the paint to create a fun effect.

If you spray too much water, you can use a big brush to move the water back to the vein line.

Keep adding veins about 12″ to 15″ apart, varying the movement and width apart from each other.

You can add the backsplash and edge parts as you go or at the end. Just make sure they match the direction of the main vein.

You can go back and add “Y” veins or parallel veins to add interest.

The directions don’t include this tip, but it’s something I did. I added areas of very faint gray paint veins in between some of my major veins.

Adding drops of paint in pools of water also creates cool effects that make it look more like real marble. Add more water to soften the look.

Stand back every now and then to find areas that need more veins. This can also help you find areas that need to be softened with more water.

You can remove areas with a wet paper towel if needed.

When you’re happy with it, let it dry.

Then you can go back in with the 2b white paint and sponge. Apply it lightly over areas that are a bit too bold.

Applying the Epoxy Coat

Let the paint dry for 4 hours before applying the epoxy coat. While the paint is drying, bring the epoxy into the room to acclimate to the temperature.

Turn off any nearby ceiling fans and put animals away if needed.

This is also when I added my plastic tarps. Make sure the tarp is taped well in corners and where cabinets meet appliances.

If you have an automatic vacuum, turn it off as well to make sure that it doesn’t try to vacuum up all of the tarps.

If you removed your sink, make sure to tarp this area as well. We also taped off the edges of the stove to create a wall for the epoxy.

It’s also a good idea to wipe the countertops down to remove any dust.

Be generous with the epoxy. The kit contains plenty! A thicker coat will look better in the end.

Mix the epoxy as directed in the instructions. We set a timer and stirred for 3 minutes and 30 seconds.

Then we poured the epoxy on the first area of countertops that we were working on. Pour it in an S shape.

Use a foam roller to spread the epoxy over the counters.

Use the brush to get the smaller areas like the corners and backsplash.

Make sure you get the areas by appliances and the sink.

Move on to the next area when the first area is covered.

If you have a corner area, make sure you get that area before the spots on the side so that you’re not rubbing up against the wet epoxy.

One mixture of epoxy covers about 6 feet of countertop.

Mix the next can as needed and continue spreading the epoxy as needed. It stays workable for about 1 hour.

If you see drips, use the brush to remove them.

Remove the tape while the epoxy is wet, but has slowed down on dripping.

We only used 2 epoxy mixtures for a 17 ft long countertop and bar ledge.

Clean Up and Care

Let the epoxy fully dry.

Remove all of the tarps.

Drips on the edge can be scraped away. (Just be careful and gentle.)

Let the countertop dry for about 2 days before replacing things on the countertop. It’s fully cured after 10 days.

Don’t place hot pots on the surface or cut on them (use a cutting board.)

I’ve also read to protect the surface with a cutting board if you use a crock pot or air fryer.

I’m thrilled with how the countertop turned out! This was a super fun process and best of all, the countertops look clean and don’t stain anymore.

The next steps will be removing some cabinets to install open shelving and a simple backsplash.

I’m also thinking about tweaking the cabinet hardware.

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Emy is a vintage obsessed mama of 2 DIYer who loves sharing affordable solutions for common home problems. You don’t need a giant budget to create a lovely home. Read more…

Thank You To Dennis Ritchie, Without Whom None Of This Would Be Here

Dennis Ritchie and Ken Thompson

Ritchie is standing; Thompson is sitting. They are both inventing Unix.

This morning the news came over the internet: Dennis Ritchie has died.

Dr. Ritchie doesn’t have the mainstream adoring following of Steve Jobs, but he can take considerably more credit for the creation, and even the aesthetics, of the computer world we live in. It’s almost impossible to find a personal computing product or paradigm that doesn’t owe a direct debt to Ritchie.

At Bell Labs in the heady 1970s, Dennis Ritchie created the C programming language and co-developed the Unix operating system. Before C and Unix came along, the computer world was fragmented in a way that’s hard to imagine — there was no such thing as software written to run on a variety of computers. Everything was custom-coded for its particular platform, and every platform had wildly different standards for such fundamental things as “how big is a byte?”

Everything we’ve got — Internet servers, telephone backbones, the microprocessor in the keyboard I’m using to type this — emanates from Ritchie’s work. You are reading this on a Drupal-powered web site; Drupal is written in PHP, which in turn is written in C. (Unless you printed out the page on a printer whose internals were coded in C.) Here, take a look at this table of what programming languages are used to implement popular software. Note how heavily populated are the C column and, next to it, the column for C++, which was developed as an enhanced C.

Lest his seem like a dry, behind–the-scenes legacy, I will quote in full Dennis Ritchie’s 1994 “anti-foreword” to the Unix-Haters’ Handbook. Ritchie was right.

Date: Tue, 15 Mar 1994 00:38:07 EST

Subject: anti-foreword

To the contributers to this book:

I have succumbed to the temptation you offered in your preface: I do write you off as envious malcontents and romantic keepers of memo- ries. The systems you remember so fondly (TOPS-20, ITS, Multics, Lisp Machine, Cedar/Mesa, the Dorado) are not just out to pasture, they are fertilizing it from below.

Your judgments are not keen, they are intoxicated by metaphor. In the Preface you suffer first from heat, lice, and malnourishment, then become prisoners in a Gulag. In Chapter 1 you are in turn infected by a virus, racked by drug addiction, and addled by puffiness of the genome.

Yet your prison without coherent design continues to imprison you. How can this be, if it has no strong places? The rational prisoner exploits the weak places, creates order from chaos: instead, collec- tives like the FSF vindicate their jailers by building cells almost compatible with the existing ones, albeit with more features. The journalist with three undergraduate degrees from MIT, the researcher at Microsoft, and the senior scientist at Apple might volunteer a few words about the regulations of the prisons to which they have been transferred.

Your sense of the possible is in no sense pure: sometimes you want the same thing you have, but wish you had done it yourselves; other times you want something different, but can't seem to get people to use it; sometimes one wonders why you just don't shut up and tell people to buy a PC with Windows or a Mac. No Gulag or lice, just a future whose intellectual tone and interaction style is set by Sonic the Hedgehog. You claim to seek progress, but you succeed mainly in whining.

Here is my metaphor: your book is a pudding stuffed with apposite observations, many well-conceived. Like excrement, it contains enough undigested nuggets of nutrition to sustain life for some. But it is not a tasty pie: it reeks too much of contempt and of envy.

Bon appetit!

Mercedes’ Concept Glb Is A Chunky Urban Suv That Would Sell Like Crazy

Mercedes’ Concept GLB is a chunky urban SUV that would sell like crazy

Compact SUVs that look just as tough as their bigger siblings are big business, and the Mercedes-Benz Concept GLB taps into that aesthetic nicely. Making its debut at Auto Shanghai 2023, the new concept SUV isn’t the largest out there – indeed, it’s actually shorter than a C-Class sedan – but it still manages to seat seven and look the part.

It’s based on Mercedes’ compact car platform, and intended to sit alongside the Mercedes-Benz GLA. Whereas the GLA is a sports crossover, though, the Concept GLB reimagines the architecture for lifestyle purposes, borrowing design cues from the automaker’s bigger trucks.

That means upright surfaces, a long wheelbase, short overhangs, and muscular shoulder lines. There’s plenty of protective cladding, too, even if GLB owners may not make the most of it in off-road conditions. White mango paint gets high-gloss black contrast parts, like the roof box, while the orange-highlighted grille is flanked by Multibeam LED headlamps.

For the show car, there’s even more of an emphasis on go-anywhere styling. LED spotlights on the roof, for example, are joined by an integrated roof box. 17-inch two-tone wheels have off-road rubber.

Inside, though, the compact car origins are clear. Unlike the GLA there’s room for a third row of seats, allowing the Concept GLB to seat up to seven. Given how popular three-row SUVs are at the moment, that wouldn’t be a bad idea for an addition to Mercedes’ line-up. The automaker claims they’ll even accommodate adults.

The second row has a 40/20/40 split, and folds down to a level load surface. It also slides forward and back, and has an eight-stage backrest recline mechanism. An Easy-Entry function pulls the backrest forward and slides the whole seat, for access to the third row. Up to four child seats can be safely fitted.

New leather and trim have been used, with chestnut brown being the key color. Orange highlights – like the sublayer fabric visible through the perforations in the seat leather – echo the exterior trim. Open-pore walnut is on the dashboard, with a chiseled honeycomb pattern.

The new Mercedes-Benz User Experience, or MBUX, is installed, and the dashboard in general is reminiscent of the B-Class. However Mercedes has added more rugged controls, like milled aluminum for the HVAC system, and there are matching grab handles.

Mercedes’ four-cylinder gas engine gets 224 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, and is paired with an 8-speed DCT gearbox. There’s permanent 4MATIC all-wheel drive, with three drive modes that each adjust the distribution of power. In Eco/Comfort mode there’s an 80:20 split, while Sport changes that to 70:30. In off-road mode, the SUV’s all-wheel drive clutch acts as an inter-axle differential lock, for a 50:50 split.

In all, though Mercedes may be calling the car a concept, it’s notable just how close to a production vehicle the Concept GLB looks. The automaker isn’t talking about production plans at this stage, but does draw attention to the fact that the road-going GLA first started as a Concept GLA back at the Shanghai auto show in 2013. Given the current appetite for SUVs and crossovers, history could do worse than repeat itself.

Work Burnout Signs: What To Look For And What To Do About It

Work Burnout Signs: What to Look for and What to Do about It The Great Resignation continues to shake up the American job market as workers contend with pandemic stresses, burnout, and loneliness

Job Burnout

Work Burnout Signs: What to Look for and What to Do about It The Great Resignation continues to shake up the American job market as workers contend with pandemic stresses, burnout, and loneliness

Sick and tired of your nine-to-five, or is your nine-to-five literally making you sick and tired? If you answered yes to either question, you’re not alone. After two years of extraordinary stresses and pressures—and way too many back-to-back Zoom calls—many American employees are exhausted and heading for the exit door. A 2023 American Psychological Association study found 79 percent of workers had experienced job-related stress in the past month. And, according to Willis Towers Watson’s 2023 Global Benefits Attitudes Survey, many are voting with their feet, walking away from their jobs and shaking up their careers: 44 percent of the nation’s workers are actively seeking new jobs or thinking about a fresh start. The media has called it the Great Resignation.

Constance Noonan Hadley says burnout involves three symptoms: energy depletion and exhaustion, depersonalization and cynicism, and reduced efficacy. Photo courtesy of Hadley

Organizational psychologist Constance Noonan Hadley believes workplace culture could be a factor in declining worker health and the mass exodus: “Loneliness and burnout—both before and during the COVID-19 pandemic—are key drivers of the Great Resignation,” she says, “or Great Rethinking, as I like to call it.” 

Hadley, a Boston University Questrom School of Business lecturer in management and organizations, points to a new study from Microsoft that surveyed 31,000 people across 31 countries, revealing that 55 percent of hybrid employees—those mixing working at home and in an office—and 50 percent of all-remote employees reported feeling lonelier at work than before the pandemic. “The evidence is there that people are tired of feeling disconnected and burned out, and they are seeking a more balanced and health-forward work situation,” says Hadley.

The Brink asked Hadley to share some research-based techniques to identify workplace burnout and loneliness—and ways for individuals and businesses to address them.



A with Constance Noonan Hadley

The Brink:

How do you define workplace burnout and loneliness?

The Brink:

What do these experiences look like and how can someone identify if they are experiencing them?

Hadley: Let’s start with recognizing burnout. Understanding the following symptoms can help professionals identify burnout in themselves:

Burnout Symptoms  Energy Depletion and Exhaustion 

We have all had those days when it is hard to get out of bed in the morning and get started on work. We also know what it is like to push hard on a particular project and look forward to a few days off to recuperate. But the kind of exhaustion associated with burnout is more chronic and nonspecific. It doesn’t go away after a vacation, and it is not tied to a particular project or deadline. It feels like a persistent fog weighing you down mentally and physically. 

Depersonalization and Cynicism 

In addition to that kind of debilitating exhaustion, burnout is associated with feeling detached and distanced from a job or even becoming cynical about it. Importantly, burnout is associated with a change in those sentiments. For example, perhaps you are a doctor and you used to find great joy in helping others, but now you feel more numb, or less empathetic, toward your patients. You might even start to question whether anything you are doing is making a difference. In a business context, you might begin to feel disinterested in your work or start to question the motives and intentions of your company. Simply put, what used to motivate and inspire you about your job no longer has the same effect. 

Reduced Efficacy 

The third component of burnout is a drop in work performance. Perhaps you used to be great at your job and now you feel yourself slipping. It may not even be something that your boss or clients notice, but you know the difference in your work quality. Or you may be maintaining the same peak performance but at a greater cost: it now takes more work, more concentration, and more effort than before. 

Burnout is defined by having all three of these symptoms at the same time. Otherwise, you might not be burned out—but you could still need to make some changes. For example, if you are experiencing persistent exhaustion, you might be suffering from overwork or overextension that requires cutting back your hours or responsibilities. Or, if you are feeling more cynical and distanced from your work, you might need to find ways to reinvigorate your job tasks or reaffirm your belief in your organization’s mission. If you’re experiencing a drop in performance but don’t have any of the other symptoms of burnout, think about what has changed in your approach to work. Identifying what is actually going on with you is the first step to figuring out what to do about it. 

Loneliness Symptoms 

In my research, people often say their coworkers are nice, but that they don’t really know them well. This has been especially true during the COVID-19 pandemic when so many professionals have only interacted with their colleagues virtually. Yet loneliness is more than a lack of in-person interaction with others. 

Whether remote, hybrid, or at the office, loneliness is a yearning for a deeper connection with others. Just because people are working doesn’t mean they stop being human—they still want to be noticed, cared about, and included. One question I like to ask in interviews is, “Who has your back here? Who would be there for you if you needed help?” If they don’t have a clear and confident answer, there is a good chance the person is lonely.

The Brink:

What can employers do to acknowledge and prevent employee burnout and loneliness?

Explore Related Topics:

What Multiple Sclerosis Looks Like In Your Brain?

Multiple Sclerosis is a highly debilitating disease that affects the central nervous system (CNS), i.e., the brain and spinal cord.

By affecting how the brain and spinal cord function, it also impacts the ability of the central nervous system to send and receive information from different parts of the body.

This can, therefore, present as a range of consequences in various parts of the body. But since the brain is the focal target of the illness it is important to know how exactly, multiple sclerosis impacts the brain and how this impact looks in the brain as well.

Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis

As previously stated, multiple sclerosis first targets the central nervous system which in turn causes a malfunction in various parts of the body. The characteristic symptoms include −

Tingling/pins-and-needles sensations in the body

Numbness or a prickling sensation, particularly in the extremities

Loss of balance

Difficulty in coordination

Memory loss

Brain fog or confusion

Vision problems

Hearing loss

Speech problems i.e., aphasia

Difficulty swallowing or dysphagia

Muscle weakness


Bladder and bowel problems, for example, incontinence

What does Multiple Sclerosis Do to the Brain?

Multiple sclerosis causes lesions in the brain and along the spinal cord (what these lesions are exactly, and how they are formed will be explored in the next section).

Lesion formation takes place over a while, as the illness aggravates and declines in phases. New lesions are formed from time to time. However, just the formation of lesions doesn’t necessarily mean that the symptoms will manifest in the patient either.

Research shows that anywhere between 6% to 82% of people diagnosed with MS may have brain lesions that are identified through brain scans or MRIs. Of the people who have brain lesions or spinal cord lesions, only 1/10th of these lesions will actually precipitate a symptom.

However, because these lesions can spread, regular MRI scans are crucial to track their development, and also so the neurologist can later customize your disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) accordingly.

DMTs can be in the form of oral pills, injectables, or infusions – there are about a dozen of these medications. So, while MS can’t be cured, it can be managed by slowing the growth of lesions.

Where do Multiple Sclerosis Lesions Occur in the Brain?

Cerebral lesions occur most commonly in diagnosed patients, but they cause the least symptoms, especially during the early phases of the disease. These lesions could be on the frontal, parietal (middle), occipital (back), or temporal (lower) lobes of the cerebrum i.e., the outer part of the cerebrum that forms the grey matter or the cortex.

Usually, these are not large enough to affect the eloquent regions of the brain i.e., the regions associated with speech, vision, language, and motor function; or more normally they don’t occur in these areas.

When the cortical lesions are large, they spread out over different parts of the cerebrum resulting in clinically visible symptoms such as cognitive impairment, mood disorders like bipolar, schizoaffective, and depressive disorders, and aphasia – a problem of jumbled speech, difficulty articulating, drawing and writing.

The problem is that the prevalence of these symptoms across many other illnesses makes them hard to pin down as being a consequence of just MS.

Brain lesions can also occur on the brainstem, which controls motor function and sensory abilities. When the lesions affect the brainstem and the white matter therein, it also affects other parts of the brain and the spinal cord as many nerve pathways that connect different components are located in this region.

In particular brain stem lesions can damage the cranial nerves resulting in different symptoms from MS lesions in other parts of the brain.

These could include facial pain, facial muscle weakness, ear problems like tinnitus or reduced sound tolerance, difficulty sleeping, reduced ability to taste, double visions, spasmodic eye movements, and very rarely, fluctuation in blood pressure and breathing trouble.

How are Multiple Sclerosis Lesions Formed in the Brain?

Lesions are a characteristic symptom and indicator of MS, which is first triggered by an outbreak of white blood cells that turn on the body’s own central nervous system and attack nerves.

It could be mediated by a glitch in the immune system or due to a viral infection. Once set off, the white blood cells cause inflammation which gradually erodes the protective myelin sheath of your nerve fibers i.e., axons causing difficulties in transmitting the information.

The damage to the axons presents as the fibers becoming rigid scar tissue which blocks the flow of information between nerves, muscles, and the brain. This stiff scar tissue is called a lesion or plaque, and the formation of many of these is what becomes known as multiple scars i.e., multiple sclerosis.

In addition to destroying myelin, the inflammation also destroys the glial cells that help to insulate nerve cells and repair and restore myelin when it is damaged. Hence, the destruction of glial cells prevents the reconstruction of new myelin and makes the damage worse.

It is only during periods of remission, that the nerve cells have the opportunity to rebuild themselves, but for people with frequent relapses, the scope of restoration is very low.

The most worrying consequence of the destruction of nerve cells and associated grey and white matter is that the brain atrophies or decreases in volume, much faster than the rate associated with normal aging and thus has very serious repercussions for cognitions and other key functions.


Living with multiple sclerosis or caring for a family member with this illness can be extremely difficult both physically and mentally. It is important to get pain management, physical therapy, moderate exercise, and time in the sun to reduce stiffness and motor difficulties.

Rehabilitation for speech and writing, adapting your house fixtures for safety and better mobility, and taking medications for depression or muscle relaxants are key to reclaiming different aspects of your life. So is attending a support group or meeting a counselor for emotional help, getting good sleep, keeping your body cool, and eating a balanced diet.

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