What is MS? – National MS Society

multiple sclerosis is a disease that impacts the brain and spinal cord which make up the central nervous system that controls everything they do whether it's taking a physical step or solving a complex problem the exact cause of MS is unknown but we do know that something triggers the immune system to attack the brain and spinal cord the resulting damage to myelin that insulates wire-like nerve fibers is a disruption of signals to and from the brain this interruption of communication signals causes unpredictable symptoms such as numbness tingling mood changes memory problems pain fatigue blindness or paralysis everyone's experience with MS is different and these losses may be temporary or long-lasting most people initially have relapsing remitting ms where they experience attacks of new symptoms followed by periods of time when those symptoms go away partially or completely others experience gradual and ongoing loss of function without distinct attacks which is known as progressive MS MS can be difficult to diagnose but once a diagnosis is confirmed by a neurologist who is knowledgeable about MS there are disease modifying therapies for reducing attacks and slowing down the damage growing evidence suggests that early and ongoing treatment with a disease modifying therapy is an important defense against future attacks there are also treatment strategies to address some MS symptoms options are still limited for slowing down or stopping progressive MS worldwide research is accelerating the discovery of how to slow down or even stop progressive MS how to repair nervous system damage and restore function wellness strategies such as exercise and diet that can help people with MS to live their best lives and the exact cause of MS so that it may be prevented for future generations to learn more about multiple sclerosis connect with others to drive research for a cure and to address the challenges of everyone affected by MS visit National MS Society org or call one eight hundred three four four four eight six seven

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