The Facts about Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis (MS) involves an immune-mediated process where the body’s immune system attacks the brain, spinal cord and the nerves that go from the eyes to the brain. The disease is thought to be triggered at some point in life by different factors in someone who is genetically susceptible.
As part of the disease, myelin (the protective covering around nerves) is damaged, as well as the nerves themselves. The damage causes scar tissue (called sclerosis) throughout the different parts of the nervous system, which gives the disease its name. This scar tissue prevents the normal nerve impulses from traveling to and from the brain and spinal cord correctly, producing the variety of symptoms that can occur.
People with MS can have mild, moderate or severe disease based on the different symptoms. Mild symptoms include numbness in the limbs, while severe symptoms include paralysis or loss of vision. Each person with MS often has different symptoms from others with the disease.
However, today new treatments and advances in research are giving new hope to people affected by the disease. In fact, most people with MS learn to live with the disease and continue to lead satisfying, productive lives.
For more information on multiple sclerosis, research being done and the programs and services provided, please visit nationalMSsociety.org or call 800-344-4867.
Page created: 10/03/2014