What is MS?

Every 60 minutes someone is diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis…

Multiple sclerosis (MS) involves an immune-mediated process in which an abnormal response of the body’s immune system is directed against the central nervous system (CNS), which is made up of the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves. The exact antigen — or target that the immune cells are sensitized to attack — remains unknown, which is why MS is considered by many experts to be “immune-mediated” rather than “autoimmune.”

MS is unpredictable, long-lasting and often disabling as the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body is interrupted.  The Myelin- a fatty white substance which wraps around your nerve fibers and protects them, is compromised.  Without this outer shell your nerves become damaged (scar tissue may form) resulting in a dysfunction of communication signals between your brain and the rest of your body.  Your nerves also don’t work as they should to help you move and feel, resulting in a diversity of symptoms, including:  numbness and tingling, blurred and double vision to blindness, balance and coordination issues, fatigue, trouble walking, muscle weakness or spasms, sexual problems, poor bladder or bowel control, pain, depression, difficulty focusing or remembering, speech issues, and paralysis.

The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted. There are several forms of the disease and treatment response can vary from one individual to another.  No known cure has been discovered as of yet, but advances in research continue and have given us therapies to help prevent relapses and slow down the effects and progression of MS.

Facts:  Most individuals are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, it effects 2 to 3 times more women then men, and 402,000 Americans and 2.5 million people are afflicted with MS worldwide.

 

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