What is Multiple Sclerosis?
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, often disabling autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system. Symptoms of multiple sclerosis may be mild, such as numbness in the limbs, or severe such as paralysis or loss of vision. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of multiple sclerosis in any one person can not yet be predicted. However, advances in research, diagnosis and treatment of multiple sclerosis are giving hope to those affected by the disease.
Multiple sclerosis is one of the most common diseases of the central nervous system in young adults. Scleroses are "scars" such as plaques or lesions in the brain and spinal cord. The protective myelin covering of the nerve fibers in the central nervous system is damaged in people with multiple sclerosis. Inflammation and loss of myelin causes disruption to nerve transmission and affects many functions of the body.
The protective myelin covering of the nerve fibers in the central nervous system is damaged in people with multiple sclerosis. Much like the insulation around an electrical wire, the myelin sheath around a nerve permits electrical impulses to be conducted along the nerve fiber with speed and accuracy. When the myelin is damaged, the nerves do not conduct the nerve impulses properly, which may lead to various bodily dysfunction.
Updated: October 2010