My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Ask Your Question

WebMD Answers

120 Characters remaining
120 Characters remaining
  • First, try and keep your question as short as possible.
  • Include specific words that will help us identify questions that may already have your answer.
  • If you don't find your answer, you can post your question to WebMD Experts and Contributors.

Close

Posted: | Report This Report Question |
 

Answers From Experts & Organizations (1)

8,020 Answers
266,839 Helpful Votes
318 Followers
A.

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.

This answer should not be considered medical advice...down arrowThis answer should not be considered medical advice and should not take the place of a doctor’s visit. Please see the bottom of the page for more information or visit our Terms and Conditions.up arrow

Posted:
| Report This Report Answer
Archived: March 20, 2014

Was this helpful?

YesNo

Thanks for your feedback.

963 of 1020 found this helpful
Read the Original Article: What Is Multiple Sclerosis?

Answers from Contributors (1)