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Multiple Sclerosis is a disease of the central nervous system the nerves that make up the brain and spinal cord This disease is commonly known as MS Its cause is unknown it cannot be prevented and neither a cure or a safe and effective treatment has been able to halt its progression so far It is not fatal and much progress is being made in treating symptoms and identifying mechanisms that trigger this disease Sclerosis comes from the Greek word skleros which means hard Multiple sclerosis refers to multiple areas of patchy scarring or plaques that result from demyelination which means destruction of myelin a fatty insulation covering the nerve fibers Myelin is made from layers of cell membranes that are produced in the brain and spinal cordMultiple sclerosis is defined as an autoimmune disease which means the bodys immune system is damaged by genetic or environmental factors or both into attacking its own tissues In other words the body becomes allergic to itself Multiple sclerosis involves repeated episodes of inflammation of nervous tissue in any area of the central nervous system The location of the inflammation varies form person to person and from episode to episode The inflammation destroys the covering of the nerve cells in that area This leaves multiple areas of scar tissue sclerosis along the covering of the nerve cells Sclerosis slows or blocks the transmission of nerve impulses in that area resulting in the development of the symptoms of MS Symptom varies because the location and extent of each attack varies There is usually a stepwise progression of the disorder with episodes that last days weeks or months alternating with times of reduced or no symptoms remission Recurrence relapse is common The exact cause of the inflammation associated with MS is unknown Geographic studies indicate there may be an environmental factor involved with MS A higher percentage of people have been diagnosed
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