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Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an unpredictable, rare and often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body.

The cause of MS is still unknown – scientists believe the disease is triggered by as-yet-unidentified environmental factor in a person who is genetically predisposed to respond.

The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed with the disease.

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society estimates that more than 2.3 million people are affected by MS worldwide.

Diagnosis

In multiple sclerosis (MS), damage to the myelin coating around the nerve fibers in the central nervous system (CNS) and to the nerve fibers themselves interferes with the transmission of nerve signals between the brain, spinal cord and the rest of the body. Disrupted nerve signals cause the symptoms of MS, which vary from one person to another and over time for any given individual, depending on where the damage occurs.

The diagnosis of MS requires evidence of at least two areas of damage in the CNS, which have occurred at different times.

Symptoms

  • Fatigue
  • Numbness or Tingling
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness and Vertigo
  • Sexual Problems
  • Pain
  • Emotional Changes
  • Walking (Gait) Difficulties
  • Spasticity
  • Vision Problems
  • Depression

Click on the links below for more information on Multiple Sclerosis:

National organizations:
National MS Society

Local organizations:
Local MS Society

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