What is Multiple Sclerosis (MS)?

Multiple Sclerosis is believed to be a chronic neurological disorder and an autoimmune disease in which the body’s own immune system attacks the central nervous system (the brain, optic nerves,  and the spinal cord).  When this happens, the outer covering of the nerve, known as the myelin (which allows nerve signals to travel properly) is damaged.  This damage interferes with the brain’s ability to send and receive messages throughout the body.

Some symptoms associated with MS may include numbness, pain, dizziness, tremors, muscle atrophy, spasticity (leg stiffness), bladder and bowel disfunction, slurred speech, depression, fatigue, loss of coordination, walking and vision impairment, and cognitive and memory difficulties.

The disease is called “Multiple” because more than one area of the brain and/or spinal cord is affected.  It’s called Sclerosis because MS causes the brain and nerve tissue to become scarred.  Over 500,000 people have been diagnosed with MS in the United States and 2,500,000 worldwide.  Many people are living with the symptoms and are unaware of the disease.

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