About Multiple Sclerosis

Average lifetime cost of treatments $1.2 million

Multiple Sclerosis is an autoimmune disease whose cause is still unknown but in which something triggers the immune system to attack itself (common of all autoimmune diseases). Specifically, the myelin sheath or fatty coating around nerves in the brain, spinal cord, and eye area are attacked and broken down. Myelin can be compared to the insulation coating on electrical wires. This breakdown causes many scars to develop and this causes the signals traveling along the nerves to be slowed or completely blocked. This halt in communication leads to a range of symptoms from mild to severe, and from temporary to permanent.

  • Cognitive difficulties
  • Bowel/bladder problems
  • Spasticity
  • Speech/voice disorders
  • Itching
  • Vision problems
  • Fatigue
  • Heat sensitivity
  • Sexual issues
  • Pain
  • Motor problems
  • Depression
  • Numbness/tingling
  • Weakness
  • Swallowing problems
  • Tremor/muscle spasm
  • Breathing problems
  • Headache
  • Hearing loss
  • Dizziness/vertigo
  • Anxiety
  • Dementia
  • Balance/coordination problems

While these symptoms are all associated with the disease, no two MS patients will have the same experience with the disease. The symptoms listed here are not always all present in every person and they also tend to come and go and will affect each person differently.

What is MS? A short video by the National MS Society.