Multiple Sclerosis

Written by Michael O'Brien
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Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a common disease of the central nervous system. It affects people who are both old and young. In North America, over 400,000 people are afflicted with MS. Unfortunately, the number grows each year.

How Multiple Sclerosis Occurs

The onset of the disease usually occurs between the ages of 20 and 40 years old. The average onset is around 30 years old. MS affects slightly more women than men. Multiple Sclerosis affects the brain and spinal cord, making sending and receiving information to and from the brain difficult for one suffering from this disease.

How MS Affects the Body

In a healthy person, nerve fibers fire quickly, sending information from the outside world to the brain. Information, such as how something looks or tastes, is easily managed by the nervous system. In one afflicted with MS, nerve fibers deteriorate. They may be damaged or destroyed, which prevents the body from receiving information, processing information and sending information outward.

The exact cause of Multiple Sclerosis is unknown; however, it is believed that the damage results from an abnormal immune system response. Instead of attacking foreign invaders, the immune system attacks its own tissue. The myelin is attacked. Many things are believed to factor into MS such as gender, genetics and possible environmental triggers.

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