Multiple Sclerosis (abbreviated MS, also known as disseminated sclerosis or encephalomyelitis disseminata) is a chronic, inflammatory disease that affects the central nervous system (CNS). MS can cause a variety of symptoms, including changes in sensation, visual problems, muscle weakness, depression, difficulties with coordination and speech, severe fatigue, cognitive impairment,problems with balance, over heating, and pain. MS will cause impaired mobility and disability in more severe cases.

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. Surrounding and protecting some of these neurons is a fatty layer known as the myelin sheath, which helps neurons carry electrical signals. MS causes gradual destruction of myelin (demyelination) and transection of neuron axons in patches throughout the brain and spinal cord. The name multiple sclerosis refers to the multiple scars (or scleroses) on the myelin sheaths. This scarring causes symptoms which vary widely depending upon which signals are interrupted. An unpredictable disease of the central nervous system, multiple sclerosis (MS) can range from relatively benign to somewhat disabling to devastating, as communication between the brain and other parts of the body is disrupted. Many investigators believe MS to be an autoimmune disease -- one in which the body, through its immune system, launches a defensive attack against its own tissues. In the case of MS, it is the nerve-insulating myelin that comes under assault. Such assaults may be linked to an unknown environmental trigger, perhaps a virus.

Most people experience their first symptoms of MS between the ages of 20 and 40; the initial symptom of MS is 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 difficulty with coordination and balance. 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. The predominant theory today is that MS results from attacks by an individual's immune system on the nervous system and it is therefore usually categorized as an autoimmune disease. There is a minority view that MS is not an autoimmune disease, but rather a metabolically dependent neurodegenerative disease. Although much is known about how MS causes damage, its exact cause remains unknown.




Learn More Here

National MS Society

Multiple Sclerosis Foundation

Multiple Sclerosis.Com


Here are some graphics that you can use to help spread the awareness
of Multiple Sclerosis:












All graphics are copyright Wings of Love and Light and may not be used
without written permission. You may contact the webmistress at Angel of the Forest


Main image courtesy of Corey Wolfe