Multiple sclerosis (MS), also known as "disseminated sclerosis" or "encephalomyelitis disseminata", is an inflammatory disease in which the fatty myelin sheaths around the axons of the brain and spinal cord are damaged, leading to demyelination and scarring as well as a broad spectrum of signs and symptoms.
MS is a neurological disease that occurs when the insulating material ("myelin") around nerve cells in the central nervous system is damaged. The word sclerosis comes from the Greek word "skleros," meaning hard. In multiple sclerosis, hard areas called "plaques" develop along a neuron's axon. "Multiple" refers to the many different areas of the nervous system that may have damaged myelin.
Researchers have discovered that the risk of MS is greater with increasing distance from the equator. Even in the United States, MS is more common in northern states than it is in southern states. According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the rate of MS in the United States below the 37th parallel is 57 to 78 cases per 100,000 people. Above the 37th parallel, the rate of MS is 110 to 140 cases per 100,000 people
A clinical study of 30 adult patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine has shown that smoked cannabis may be an effective treatment for spasticity -- a common and disabling symptom of this neurological disease.
MS is characterized by intermittent damage to myelin, called demyelination. Demyelination causes scarring and hardening (sclerosis) of nerve tissue in the spinal cord, brain and optic nerves. Demyelination slows conduction of nerve impulses, which results in weakness, numbness, pain and vision loss.
When a nerve fiber has less myelin the electrical impulses received from the brain do not flow smoothly to the target nerve - when there is no myelin the nerve fibers cannot conduct the electrical impulses at all. The electrical impulses are instructions from the brain to carry out actions, such as to move a muscle. MS is the disability to get your body to do what your brain wants it to.
The world's first pill for multiple sclerosis has been approved for use on the NHS by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. Multiple sclerosis, or MS, affects about a 100,000 people in the UK but until now, patients have had to be treated with injections.
Until recently, a finding of specific abnormalities in the cerebrospinal fluid, which circulates within and around the brain, was routinely used for the diagnosis, as these abnormalities are present in the majority of MS patients. Now, a new brain imaging technology, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), has given neurologists a powerful and sensitive new tool for the diagnosis.
Symptoms vary, because the location and severity of each attack can be different. Episodes can last for days, weeks, or months. These episodes alternate with periods of reduced or no symptoms (remissions). Fever, hot baths, sun exposure, and stress can trigger or worsen attacks.
Scientists have found 29 new genetic variants linked to multiple sclerosis (MS) and say the findings should help drugmakers focus treatment research on precise areas of the immune system.
To date, there is no definitive single laboratory test to confirm MS, thus a confirmed diagnosis can only be made through a careful medical history, a detailed neurological examination, MRI imaging and often a test of spinal fluid and a host of blood tests to exclude other possible causes of the neurological symptoms.
An experimental drug called ONO-4641 reduced the number of lesions in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis by as much as 92%, Colorado researchers reported Tuesday.