Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease that affects your brain and spinal cord. It damages the myelin sheath, the material that surrounds and protects your nerve cells. As damage build, it blocks or slows messages between your brain and the rest of your body.
The severity of MS can widely vary. Some people have few or mild symptoms, while other lose the ability to write, speak or walk. Symptoms usually start between ages 20 and 40, which are usually some of the most productive and active years of a person’s life. Symptoms of MS can include fatigue, numbness, tingling, blurred vision, unsteady gait (walk), weakness, dizziness and in some cases cognitive impairments.
There is currently no cure for MS, but symptoms can be managed with medication and rehabilitation. Without successful management, symptoms will usually worsen over time.
Diagnosis and Treatment
No specific test can tell you or your doctor that you have MS. The disease is usually diagnosed through an evaluation of symptoms and medical history. Lab test can help rule out other disease or conditions.
Physical, occupational and speech therapy are usually a big part of managing MS. Therapy can help you preserve function and make the most of your capabilities in your daily life.