Multiple Sclerosis News

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease of the central nervous system, affecting the spinal cord, the brain and the optic nerves. MS can vary greatly in severity from person to person and can cause a wide range of symptoms, from mild problems to severe disabilities.

Multiple sclerosis symptoms typically begin between the ages of 20 and 50.

Causes of Multiple Sclerosis

Relatively little is known about the cause of the multiple sclerosis. One theory is that genetics makes someone more susceptible to getting MS, but that it's some combination of environmental factors or triggers that often causes the disease to surface. With MS, the immune system attacks the central nervous system, but researchers are mixed on whether it is specifically an autoimmune disorder. Rather, it is often called an immune-mediated disorder. In multiple sclerosis, the immune system attacks the myelin, which is a protective covering of nerve fibers in the central nervous system. This disrupts communication with the brain and leads to the symptoms of MS.

Types of MS

The symptoms of multiple sclerosis can vary so widely that the disease is often classified as one of four different “courses”:

  • Relapsing-remitting MS, in which symptoms come and go in flare-ups
  • Primary-progressive MS, in which symptoms are continual and gradually worsen
  • Secondary-progressive MS, in which the disease becomes progressive after a period of being relapsing-remitting MS
  • Progressive-relapsing MS, which is progressive but also includes flares of much worse MS symptoms

Any one of these courses can include the symptoms of MS, such as problems with coordination, balance and walking; fatigue; numbness; vision issues; dizziness; issues with bowel, bladder and sexual function; emotional changes and mental issues; depression; and chronic pain. As MS worsens, it may also include issues with speech, breathing, swallowing and other problems.


There’s no cure for multiple sclerosis, but people can often manage the disease through a combination of medications that help with symptoms and various types of therapy, including physical, occupational and speech. Working closely with doctors is the best course of action for finding the right approach for anyone with MS.

SOURCES: National Multiple Sclerosis Society

Date Posted
Article Title
Fatty Fish and MS Risk

Eating fish at least once a week may reduce your risk of MS, new study finds.

High-Fat Diets Could Pose Danger to Young MS Patients

These regimens raised the risk for disease relapse, study found

Clues to MS May Lurk in Gut Bacteria

Work with mice suggests microbiome might play a role in development of multiple sclerosis

More Evidence Links the 'Mono' Virus to MS Risk

Latest study shows blacks and Hispanics also vulnerable

Resistance Training May Slow MS, Study Says

Scans revealed less brain shrinkage in exercise group

Breastfeeding and MS Risk

Breastfeeding for 15 months or longer may reduce your risk of developing this chronic autoimmune disease, study finds.

Breast-Feeding May Lower Risk of MS, Study Says

Benefits reported for women who nursed 15 months or more

MS-Related Brain Changes May Affect Social Skills

Study might explain why some multiple sclerosis patients stop understanding what others are feeling

Immune-Based Therapy Shows Early Promise Against MS

First step was to test its safety in small trial of 6 people

Ocrevus Approved to Treat Severe Form of Multiple Sclerosis

First drug sanctioned in U.S. for primary progressive MS

FDA-OK'd Drug Offers Hope to Sickest MS Patients

It's also effective against the most common form of the disease, researchers say

Controversial MS Treatment Seems Ineffective

No benefit detected after 'liberation therapy,' study authors say

Scientists Spot Signs That Predict Worsening Multiple Sclerosis

Fatigue, limited leg function tied to progressive disease in study

Stem Cell Transplants May Help Some With Multiple Sclerosis

Review found younger patients fared better over 5 years, though some deaths reported

U.S. Report Cites the Good and Bad on Marijuana

Pot shown to help chronic pain, chemo-related nausea and muscle spasms in multiple sclerosis, but researchers cite risks, too

New MS Drug Shows 'Breakthrough' Promise for Advanced Disease

Specialist hopes ocrelizumab will be available by spring

Could Low Vitamin D Levels at Birth Mean Higher MS Risk?

Perhaps, but researchers aren't ready to recommend routine supplementation during pregnancy

MS Symptoms May Develop Earlier in Darker, Cooler Climes

Study results suggest latitude affects timing of disease onset

Powerful MS Drug Used Early May Reverse Some Disability

But significant side effects remain an issue for Lemtrada, researcher says

Exercise May Not Lower Women's Risk of Multiple Sclerosis

Study shows no benefit, but staying active can help ease disease symptoms, experts say

Drug Shows Promise Against MS in Mouse Study

Laquinimod seemed to slow progression of the neurological disorder, but human trials needed

Treating Early Symptoms of MS May Extend Time to Diagnosis

Industry-funded study also found therapy doubled time until a relapse occurred

Poor Sleep May Worsen Thinking Problems in MS Patients

Study found link between severity of sleep apnea and performance on attention, memory tests

MS Stem Cell Therapy Succeeds But Poses Risks

Toxic side effects of heavy chemo could limit use, researcher says

Allergy Med Might Also Fight MS-Linked Eye Damage

Vision improvement with clemastine fumarate appears modest but results are promising, researcher says

MS Patients May Be Prone to Other Chronic Illnesses, Study Finds

High blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and depression among common co-existing conditions

Low Prenatal Vitamin D Linked to Later MS in Offspring

Study compared Finnish adults with and without multiple sclerosis, but more research is needed

Heavy Coffee Drinkers Show Lower Risk of Multiple Sclerosis

But the finding isn't reason enough to up your java intake, experts say

MS Drug Tied to Higher Risk for Potentially Deadly Brain Virus

Patients taking Tysabri were more prone to show signs of exposure to JCV, which can cause a brain disease

Could High-Dose Vitamin D Help Fight Multiple Sclerosis?

Supplementation appears safe but experts say it's too soon for general recommendation