The damage to this protective membrane causes inflammation and slows down or completely stops communication between nerve cells.
Statistically, Caucasians and women are the most susceptible to MS, and sufferers most often begin to show signs of the disease between the ages of 20 and 40.
The symptoms of MS include cognitive impairment, visual and speech disturbances, muscle weakness, trouble with coordination and balance, numbing or prickling sensations, thinking, and memory difficulties, moderate to severe pain, bladder and bowel dysfunctions, and mental state effects like depression and euphoria.
Some patients experience loss of writing, speaking, and walking abilities.
Although there is no known cure for MS at this time, there are various treatments that help slow its progression, control symptoms, and improve quality of life. Regimens of disease-modifying medications act to reduce the frequency and severity of MS attacks and can treat brain lesions and atrophy.
Corticosteroids may also become necessary to defeat severe inflammation as the disease progresses.
Over 2.5 million people worldwide suffer from MS.
As with many other diseases, proper diet, stress relief, and symptom management practices like acupuncture, and chiropractic bring substantial benefits to MS patients.
Various workshops and therapeutic sessions have also been shown to help manage symptoms.
Due to the variation of the location and severity of attacks on neurons in the central nervous system, symptoms vary among people and episodes.
An episode can last anywhere from a few days to a few months, and alternate with periods of reduced or no symptoms, known as remission. A relapse (return of symptoms) is not necessary for the disease to continue or even worsen.