Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disorder affecting the central nervous system. The body’s immune system attacks the myelin sheath which insulates the nerves and helps to transmit messages between the brain and other parts of the body. Once the myelin sheath is damaged, scarring develops and blocks or disrupts the electrical signals transmitted throughout the brain and spinal cord. Symptoms can vary greatly, depending on which portion of the brain and spinal cord is affected. The most common early symptoms may include tingling, numbness, loss of balance, weakness in one or more limbs, blurred vision or double vision. Some less-common early symptoms may include slurred speech, sudden onset of paralysis, lack of coordination, and cognitive difficulties. As the disease progresses other symptoms may occur such as fatigue, heat sensitivity, muscle spasms, dizziness, impaired thinking, vision problems, abnormal body sensations, speech and swallowing problems, tremors, and difficulty walking.
The cause of multiple sclerosis is unknown.
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