What is multiple sclerosis?
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a nervous system disease that affects the brain and spinal cord. Between 250-350 thousand Americans are estimated to be diagnosed with MS, which is equal to 200 new cases of MS each week.
Types of MS
There are four types of multiple sclerosis. The most common is called “relapsing remitting MS”, which is characterized by worsening symptoms that are followed by period of improvement. Progressive MS, on the other hand, is charatecterized by continual worsening of symptoms without improvement. Other MS diagnoses include secondary progressive MS which begins as relapsing remitting and becomes more progressive. Finally, progressive relapsing MS continually exhibits worsening symptoms from the start and is accompanied by occasional attacks that worsen the condition. Unless treated, about half of patients diagnosed with relapsing remitting MS will develop progressive MS within 15 years.
Do doctors know what causes MS? Who is at risk of developing multiple sclerosis? And what can you do to minimize these risks? More on risk factors and what causes multiple sclerosis next.