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Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory, chronic, degenerative disorder that affects nerves in the brain and spinal cord. Myelin, the fatty substance that surrounds and insulates nerves and facilitates the conduction of nerve impulses is the initial target of inflammatory destruction in multiple sclerosis.

MS is characterized by intermittent damage to myelin , called demyelination. Demyelination causes scarring of nerve tissue in the spinal cord, brain, and optic nerves. Demyelination slows conduction of nerve impulses, which results in weakness, numbness, pain, and vision loss.






Because different nerves are affected at different times, MS symptoms often worsen (exacerbate), improve, and develop in different areas of the body. Early symptoms of the disorder may include vision changes (e.g., blurred vision, blind spots), numbness, dizziness, and muscle weakness.

MS can progress steadily or cause acute attacks (exacerbations) followed by partial or complete reduction in symptoms (remission). Most patients with the disease have a normal lifespan.

Types 
Multiple sclerosis is classified according to frequency and severity of neurological symptoms, the ability of the CNS to recover, and the accumulation of damage.
Primary progressive MS causes steady progression of symptoms with few periods of remission.
Relapsing-Remitting MS 
causes worsening of symptoms (exacerbations) that occur with increasing frequency, along with periods of reduced symptoms (remission).
Secondary progressive MS is initially similar to relapsing-remitting MS but eventually follows a progressive course without remissions.
Relapsing-Progressive MS causes cumulative damage during exacerbations and remissions.

Incidence and Prevalence 
MS is the most common neurological cause of debilitation in young people and affects about 500,000 people in the United States. Worldwide, the incidence is approximately 0.1%. Northern Europe and the northern United States have the highest prevalence, with more than 30 cases per 100,000 people.

MS is more common in women and in Caucasians. The average age of onset is between 18 and 35, but the disorder may develop at any age. Children of parents with MS have a higher rate of incidence (3050%).

World Distribution of Multiple Sclerosis



Please click on the following links for more information on Multiple Sclerosis:

 










                 

www.consultantsinneurology.com

Raymond Rybicki, MD

This information is for general educational uses only. It may not apply to you and your specific medical needs. This information should not be used in place of a visit, call, consultation with or the advice of your physician or health care professional. Communicate promptly with your physician or other health care professional with any health-related questions or concerns.

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