What is Multiple Sclerosis and What Causes It? (Definition)

Multiple Sclerosis or MS is a disease of the central nervous system. The actual cause of MS remains unknown, although research scientists are making progress. The disease causes communication problems between the brain and other parts of the body. Medical researchers believe MS to be an autoimmune disease, where the body’s own immune system launches a defensive attack against its own tissues. In the case of MS, it is the nerve-insulating myelin (the fatty substance that coats and protects nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord) that comes under assault. Such assaults may be linked to an unknown environmental trigger, perhaps a virus.

Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis may vary substantially from person to person and over the course of the disease depending on the location of affected nerve fibers. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke , most people experience their first symptoms of MS between the ages of 20 and 40 years of age. These first symptoms of MS are often blurred or double vision, red-green color distortion, or even blindness in one eye. Most MS patients experience muscle weakness in their extremities and have difficulty with coordination and balance. In some cases, these symptoms may be severe enough to impair walking or even standing. In the worst cases, MS can produce partial or complete paralysis.

Most people with MS also exhibit paresthesias, transitory abnormal sensory feelings such as numbness, prickling, or “pins and needles” sensations. Some may also experience pain. Speech impediments, tremors, and dizziness are other frequent complaints. Occasionally, people with MS have hearing loss. Approximately half of all people with MS experience cognitive impairments such as difficulties with concentration, attention, memory, and poor judgment, but such symptoms are usually mild and are frequently overlooked. Depression is another common feature of MS. For more information regarding Multiple Sclerosis symptoms and treatments, please visit the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website.

See below for updated news and information regarding Multiple Sclerosis including new medical research, treatment options and advancements with regard to MS. 

Latest Multiple Sclerosis News

Multiple Sclerosis Treatment News: Breakthrough in MS treatment

(SOURCE: MCGILL UNIVERSITY) - Ocrelizumab shown to reduce new attacks/symptom progression in some patients. In separate clinical trials, a drug called ocrelizumab has been shown to reduce new attacks in patients with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (MS), and new symptom progression in primary progressive MS. Three studies conducted by an international team of researchers, which included Amit Bar-Or and Douglas Arnold ...
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Multiple Sclerosis Treatment News: UTHealth’s Wolinsky is senior author of paper on new therapy for primary progressive MS

(SOURCE: UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS HEALTH SCIENCE CENTER AT HOUSTON) - Positive results of an investigational medication study for primary progressive multiple sclerosis were published online in today’s New England Journal of Medicine in a paper led by senior author Jerry Wolinsky, M.D., of McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth). The study, called ORATORIO, was ...
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Multiple Sclerosis Research News: : Newly discovered signal mechanism causes T cells to turn pathogenic

(SOURCE: TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY OF MUNICH) - T cells are an important part of the immune system. However, they are not only capable of destroying pathogens. They can also become harmful themselves. Researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz have discovered the conditions under which certain T cells become ...
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Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis Drug Shown to Reverse Some of the Disease Damage

(Medical News Today) According to a recent article published in Medical News Today, most people with Multiple Sclerosis are initially diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS). In RRMS, there are clear episodes of inflammatory activity (relapses). During a relapse, there are new or worsening symptoms. Relapses are also called attacks, flare-ups, or exacerbations. People with RRMS may go on to develop ...
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Therapies Aimed at Regenerating Myelin Sheath May Help Multiple Sclerosis Patients

(Multiple Sclerosis News Today) According to a recent article published in Multiple Sclerosis Today, therapies which are aimed at regenerating the myelin sheath can work to restore proper brain activity and may be a viable way of treating multiple sclerosis (MS), according to researchers at the University of California San Francisco ...
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New Technology Could Help Provide Faster Diagnosis for Multiple Sclerosis

(MedScape) According to a recent article published in MedScape, a possible blood test for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is currently being studied ...
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Research Suggests a New Path for Multiple Sclerosis Therapies and Diagnostics

(News-medical.net) According to a recent article published in news-medical.net, a new Tel Aviv University study which was published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS) located a structural instability in the myelin membranes, the "insulating tape" surrounding neurons. This vulnerability provides the immune system with access to otherwise protected regions ...
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Early Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis May Help Reduce Disease Progression

(Medical Daily) According to a recent study published in Neurology, treating multiple sclerosis (MS) early may help reduce likelihood of being diagnosed with clinical MS ...
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