A condition that affects approximately 2.5 million people worldwide*, Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, autoimmune disease (a condition where the body attacks it's own tissue) that affects the central nervous system. The central nervous system (CNS) consists of the brain, spinal cord, and the optic nerves. Each nerve is covered with a fatty substance called 'myelin' which insulates the nerves and aids in the transmission of messages between the brain and the body. In MS, the myelin is destroyed and scar tissue or 'sclerosis' builds up on the nerves resulting in the brains inability to communicate with the body. Although symptoms can vary from person to person, it is this breakdown in communication that results in the symptoms of MS, such as loss of muscle control and balance, vision impairment, speech and coordination difficulties, numbness and tingling.
While there currently is no cure for MS, there are medications and therapy available to help patients manage their symptoms.
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*National MS Society estimated number