Multiple sclerosis, or MS, is a disease that affects the brain and spinal cord resulting in loss of muscle control, vision, balance, and sensation (such as numbness). With MS, the nerves of the brain and spinal cord are damaged by one's own immune system. Thus, the condition is called an autoimmune disease.
Autoimmune diseases are those whereby the body's immune system, which normally targets and destroys substances foreign to the body such as bacteria, mistakenly attacks normal tissues. In MS, the immune system attacks the brain and spinal cord.
MS gets its name from the buildup of scar tissue (sclerosis) in the brain and/or spinal cord. The scar tissue, or plaques, form when the protective and insulating myelin covering the nerves is destroyed. Without the myelin, electrical signals transmitted throughout the brain and spinal cord are disrupted or halted. The brain then becomes unable to send and to receive messages. It is this breakdown of communication that causes the symptoms of MS.
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Archived: March 20, 2014
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Read the Original Article: What Is Multiple Sclerosis?