Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a disabling disease of the central nervous system.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
The actual cause of MS is unknown. With MS, the immune systems attacks the myelin, or protective sheath, covering the never endings, ultimately causing communication issues between a patient’s brain and the rest of their body. Over time, the disease can cause the nerves to deteriorate to a point where they become permanently damaged.
It is not clear why certain people develop MS and others do not. It is believed that a combination of genetics and environmental factors are responsible for a MS diagnosis.
People ages 15-60 are at the highest risk for developing MS. Women are nearly twice as likely as men to develop MS and a family history of MS will increase your risk of developing the disease. Caucasian people, particularly those of Northern European decent are at the highest risk of developing MS. The African American community is the lowest risk.
- Numbness or weakness in one or more limbs, normally occurring on one side of the body
- Double vision
- Tingling or pain in certain parts of the body
- Slurred speech
- Lack of coordination or unsteadiness
- Partial or complete loss of vision
- Bowel and bladder issues
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