Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic disease of the central nervous system. It is an unpredictable condition that can be relatively benign, disabling, or devastating. Some individuals with MS may be mildly affected while others may lose their ability to write, speak, or walk - when communication between the brain and other parts of the body becomes disrupted.
Myelin – a fatty tissue that surrounds and protects the nerve fibers – is lost in multiple areas with MS. This loss of myelin forms scar tissue called sclerosis. These areas are also called plaques or lesions. When damaged in this way, the nerves are unable to conduct electrical impulses to and from the brain.
There are many possible causes of MS, including the following:
- Autoimmune disorders
- Environmental factors
- Genetic factors
With effective diagnosis and treatment, people with MS have a very promising future with a long and active life.
Learn more about MS.