Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, often disabling disease that attacks the central nervous system (CNS). The CNS consists of the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves.

MS damages or destroys the myelin-the protective sheath that covers nerve fibers-and causes communication problems between the brain and other parts of the body.

The cause of MS is unknown, but the disease is thought to involve an as-yet-unidentified interaction between genetic and environmental factors. MS is not contagious, nor is it directly inherited.

MS symptoms vary widely from person to person and range from mild to severe. Some people with MS only experience occasional minor problems, while others may be severely disabled. MS symptoms can also change over time, waxing and waning in their severity.

Common MS symptoms include fatigue, muscle weakness, numbness and tingling, problems with vision and balance, and bladder and bowel problems. MS can also cause mood swings, depression, anxiety, and other psychological problems. In some cases, people with MS may experience seizures.

MS symptoms are often aggravated by heat, infection, stress, and lack of sleep. MS attacks can also be triggered by minor injuries or illnesses. For example, a person with MS might experience a temporary worsening of symptoms after getting a cold or the flu.

There is currently no cure for MS, but treatments are available to manage symptoms and slow the progression of the disease.

Although most people with MS live relatively normal lives, the unpredictable nature of the disease can make even the simplest tasks seem daunting.

The good news is that MS research is yielding new insights and treatments that offer hope for the future.