What is Multiple Sclerosis?

What is Multiple Sclerosis?

Multiple Sclerosis is a chronic often disabling disease of the central nervous system. In young adults, it is one of the most common central nervous system diseases.

Sclerosis are "scars" such as plaques or lesions in the brain and spinal cord. Multiple Sclerosis is a progressive disease in which scattered patches of the protective myelin sheath covering of the nerve fibers in the brain and spine (the central nervous system) are damaged or destroyed.

Myelin is a fatty material around nerves that acts like the insulation around electrical wires. When the myelin sheath is damaged, the electrical impulses along the nerves are disrupted. This disruption affects many functions of the body.

Symptoms may be mild (e.g., numbness in the limbs) or severe (e.g., paralysis or loss of vision).

The progress, severity and specific symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are giving hope to those affected by the disease.