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Frequently Asked Questions About Multiple Sclerosis

Posted Feb 19 2011 12:00am

1. What Is Multiple Sclerosis?Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease, whereby the body's own immune system, which normally targets and destroys substances foreign to the body such as bacteria, mistakenly attacks normal tissues. In MS, the immune system attacks the brain and spinal cord (the central nervous system).2. What Causes Multiple Sclerosis?Doctors still don't understand what causes multiple sclerosis, but there are interesting data that suggest that genetics, a person's environment, and possibly even a virus may play a role.Researchers believe that MS may be inherited (passed on from parents to children). First, second and third degree relatives of people with MS are at increased risk of developing the disease. Siblings of an affected person have a 2%-5% risk of developing MS.Some scientists theorize that MS develops because a person is born with a genetic predisposition to react to some environmental agent, which, upon exposure, triggers an autoimmune response.In addition, some studies have suggested that many viruses such as measles, herpes, and the flu viruses may be associated with MS. To date, however, this belief has not been proven.3. What Are the Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis?The onset of multiple sclerosis may be dramatic or so mild that a person doesn't even notice any symptoms.The most common early symptoms of MS include:Tingling Numbness Loss of balance Weakness in one or more limbs Blurred or double vision Less common symptoms may include:Slurred speech Sudden onset of paralysis Lack of coordination Problems with thinking and processing information As the disease progresses, other symptoms may include heat sensitivity, fatigue, changes in thinking or perception, and sexual disturbances. READ MORE  ==================== ****************************************************************
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