Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a condition that affects the body’s central nervous system (CNS). By some counts, over 2.5 million people worldwide have the disease. It’s a condition that causes your body’s immune system to attack myelin, a coating that insulates your nerve fibers.
When myelin is damaged or destroyed it affects the nerve impulses traveling to and from the brain and spinal cord. This can cause life-changing symptoms like extreme fatigue, numbness, tingling, tremors, slurred speech and loss of balance and muscle co-ordination, loss of vision and, in the worst case, paralysis.
MS is three times more common in women than men and the diagnosis usually comes in the prime of someone’s life, typically between the ages of 20 and 40. MS can be a devastating condition with a potentially profound effect on the quality of life. We’re getting closer to understanding what causes it – most likely a combination of environmental and genetic factors.
While there is currently no cure, there is hope for a brighter, healthier future.