What is MS? – National MS Society

Multiple sclerosis is a disease that
impacts the brain and spinal cord which make up the central nervous system that
controls everything we do whether it’s taking a physical step or solving a
complex problem. The exact cause of MS is unknown but we do know that
something triggers the immune system to attack the brain and spinal cord. The
resulting damage to myelin that insulates wire-like nerve fibers is a disruption
of signals to and from the brain. This interruption of communication signals
causes unpredictable symptoms such as numbness, tingling, mood changes, memory problems pain, fatigue, blindness, or paralysis. Everyone’s experience with MS is
different and these losses may be temporary or long lasting most people
initially have relapsing-remitting MS where they experienced attacks of new
symptoms followed by periods of time when those symptoms go away partially or
completely. Others experience gradual and ongoing loss of function without
distinct attacks, which is known as progressive MS. MS can be difficult to
diagnose but once the diagnosis is confirmed by a
neurologist who is knowledgeable about MS there are disease modifying therapies for
reducing attacks and slowing down the damage for those with relapsing MS.
Growing evidence suggests that early and ongoing treatment with a
disease-modifying therapy is an important defense against future attacks.
There are also treatment strategies to address some MS symptoms. There is no
therapy yet that can slow down or stop progressive MS. Worldwide research is
accelerating the discovery of how to slow down or even stop progressive MS, how to repair
nervous system damage and restore function, wellness strategies such as
exercise and diet that can help people with MS to live their best lives and the
exact cause of MS so that it may be prevented for future generations. To
learn more about multiple sclerosis, connect with others to drive research
for a cure and to address the challenges of everyone affected by MS, visit
NationalMSSociety.org or call 1-800-344-4867

Author: Kennedi Daugherty

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