Multiple Sclerosis is a chronic, unpredictable disease of the central nervous system (CNS), which is made up of the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves. It is thought to be an immune-mediated disorder, in which the immune system incorrectly attacks healthy tissue in the CNS.
Who gets MS?
Anyone may develop MS, but there are some patterns. More than two to three times as many women as men develop MS. This gender difference has been increasing over the past 50 years. Studies suggest that genetic risk factors increase the risk of developing MS, but there is no evidence that MS is directly inherited. Environmental factors, such as low Vitamin D and cigarette smoking have also been shown to increase ones chances of developing MS.
Multiple Sclerosis is most common in Caucasians of northern European ancestry, however, it does occur in most ethnic groups, including: African-Americans, Asians and people of Hispanic or Latino origins too.
How many people have MS?
More than 2.5 Million people are affected by MS world-wide.
Is MS contagious, or inherited?
No, MS is not contagious, or directly inherited. Studies do indicate that genetic and certain environmental factors may make certain individuals more susceptible to the disease.
Can MS be cured?
Not yet. Thee are no FDA-approved medications that have been shown to “modify” the course of MS by reducing the number of relapses while delaying progression of disability to some degree. In addition, many therapeutic and technological advances are helping people to better manage their symptoms. Advances in treating and understanding MS are made every year, and progress in research to find a cure is very encouraging!
What can YOU do to help in the fight to end MS?
Please consider making a donation to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society to help fund research for a cure!