Multiple sclerosis (abbreviated MS, also known as disseminated sclerosis or encephalomyelitis disseminata) is a chronic, inflammatory, demyelinating disease that affects the central nervous system (CNS). Multiple sclerosis affects neurons, the cells of the brain and spinal cord that carry information, create thought and perception, and allow the brain to control the body. Multiple sclerosis may take several different forms, with new symptoms occurring either in discrete attacks or slowly accruing over time. Multiple sclerosis may progress and regress unpredictably.
The name multiple sclerosis refers to the multiple scars (or scleroses) on the myelin sheaths. Multiple sclerosis is difficult to diagnose in its early stages. In 1996 the United States National Multiple Sclerosis Society standardized the following four subtype definitions:
Relapsing-remitting describes the initial course of 85% to 90% of individuals with MS. This subtype is characterized by unpredictable attacks (relapses) followed by periods of months to years of relative quiet (remission) with no new signs of disease activity. Deficits suffered during the attacks may either resolve or may be permanent. When deficits always resolve between attacks, this is referred to as "benign" MS.
Secondary progressive describes around 80% of those with initial relapsing-remitting MS, who then begin to have neurologic decline between their acute attacks without any definite periods of remission. This decline may include new neurologic symptoms, worsening cognitive function, or other deficits. Secondary progressive is the most common type of MS and causes the greatest amount of disability.
Primary progressive describes the approximately 10% of individuals who never have remission after their initial MS symptoms. Decline occurs continuously without clear attacks. The primary progressive subtype tends to affect people who are older at disease onset.
Progressive relapsing describes those individuals who, from the onset of their MS, have a steady neurologic decline but also suffer superimposed attacks; and is the least common of all subtypes
Immune system-related genetic factors that predispose an individual to the development of MS have been identified, and may lead to new ways to treat or prevent the disease. Immune system - The immune system attacks the body's myelin so it is vital to understand what triggers that attack and to find ways to block it. Although most accept an autoimmune explanation, several theories suggest that MS is an appropriate immune response to an underlying condition.
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Multiple Sclerosis (also commonly abbreviated to MS) is a progressive disorder, an autoimmune condition wherein the central nervous system gets attacked by the body's immune system; these later results in demyelination and paralysis. Demyelination is the general term for diseases of the nervous system where the myelin sheath, the substance that serves as the covering of the nerve fibers, gets damaged. This in turn results disorders or impairments in muscle functions, cognition and sensation.
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