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Multiple Sclerosis is a chronic disease of the Central Nervous System. that is characterized by loss of myelin (the substance around nerve fibers that acts as an electric insulator) in the brain stem, optic nerve, and spinal cord.
MS generally comes and goes in what are known as attacks. Attacks are when the symptoms are present. There may be an attack that lasts weeks or even months, then the symptoms will disappear. When the symptoms are no longer present, it is called remission. Attacks are most frequent 3 or 4 years after they began.
Although the actual cause of MS is unknown, many researchers believe a viral infection before the age of 15 may trigger the disease in later years. Scientists do know, however, that MS is not inherited, although your risk is greater if a relative has had it.
The symptoms for MS include numbness, weakness, a tingling sensation, impaired vision, lack of coordination, and rapid, involuntary eye movement. It is very hard to diagnose in it's early stages. Any of the above symptoms could be signs indicating other diseases, but one thing that is very important to know when MS is a possibility is symptoms appear briefly than go away. A pattern that suggests MS is a time where symptoms appear, then they go away, almost like nothing happened at all, but then they rea ppear later on.
If your doctor thinks that you may have MS, you may be referred to a neurologist, or a doctor who specializes in the study of the brain. There they may do a test where they record the electric activity of the brain. You also may have a Magnetic Resource Imaging, or an MRI performed.
Although usually MS is not fatal, there is one rare form of Acute Multiple Sclerosis that can be fatal within weeks or months.
Treatment for MS includes physical therapy to keep the limbs moving. There are a number of drugs that are being tested. Also occupational therapy has helped many patients keep at good attitude.
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