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
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

New MS Drug Yields Mixed Results in Study

Relapse rates with daclizumab were lower than with a standard therapy, but side effects were greater

Sun Exposure in Teen Years May Delay Onset of MS: Study

But researchers only found a connection, not cause-and-effect link

Seasonal Melatonin Levels May Affect MS Flare-Ups, Study Says

But it's too soon to recommend self-dosing with supplements

Quitting Smoking After MS Diagnosis May Delay Disease Progression

Accelerates about 5 percent for each additional year of smoking, study finds

Women Who Breast-Feed Less Likely to Have MS Relapse: Study

But protective effect seems to last only about as long as exclusive nursing does

Exercise and Multiple Sclerosis

Regular exercise may have a beneficial effect on multiple sclerosis activity in the brain, study finds.

Exercise May Help Kids With Multiple Sclerosis

But researchers can't say if exercisers have less severe disease or if activity eases symptoms

Evidence Supports Medical Pot for Some Conditions, Not Others

Review of 79 studies suggests states may have put cart before the horse, experts say

MS May Raise Odds for Earlier Death, Study Finds

Younger people with the disease appear to face an even greater risk of dying prematurely

Immune System Genes May Change With the Seasons: Study

Altered activity could explain why some diseases are worse in some months than others, researchers say

Prices of MS Drugs Soaring, Study Finds

No medications available for disabling disease for less than $50,000 a year in United States, researchers say

Generic Copaxone Approved for Multiple Sclerosis

Autoimmune disease affects central nervous system

New Drug Shows Promise for MS

Early results indicate treatment can repair nerve damage

Ingredient in MS, Psoriasis Drugs Linked to Two Deadly Brain Infections

But experts say complication is rare, and no reason to stop medication

Clues to 'Brain Fog' in Chronic Fatigue Patients Found in Spinal Fluid

Study reveals evidence that it's 'not made up,' researcher says

Coffee and Multiple Sclerosis

Drinking coffee may reduce your risk of developing MS, study finds.

Could Coffee Lower Risk of Multiple Sclerosis?

Studies link several cups daily with reduced odds for the disease

Multiple Sclerosis Linked to Lower Levels of Key Nutrients in Women

But researchers aren't sure whether differences are cause or effect of inflammatory disease

Early Study Says Stem Cells May Reverse Multiple Sclerosis Disability

Small initial trial showed improvement for people with relapsing-remitting MS

Ulcer Bacteria Tied to Lower Multiple Sclerosis Risk in Women

Study suggests infection with H. pylori bug may be somewhat protective

Study: HPV Vaccine Doesn't Increase Risk for Multiple Sclerosis

Researchers say findings provide more evidence supporting safety of the cervical cancer inoculation

Stem Cell Therapy for MS Shows Promise

Experimental treatment kills off, then 'resets' the immune system

Neurologists Say Jury Still Out on Medical Marijuana's Use for Brain Disorders

Easing federal restrictions on pot research might help get answers, doctors say

Research Shows No Link Between Vaccinations, Risk for Multiple Sclerosis

Large study finds no association, although certain shots might speed onset of existing illness

Study: Undiagnosed Sleep Disorders Common With Multiple Sclerosis

Lack of shuteye could affect disease progression, researchers caution

New Myelin Loss Linked to MS Severity: Study

Brain scans show gray matter damage associated with advanced form of disease

Could Too Much Salt Harm MS Patients?

Researchers find a link but say it's too soon to recommend reducing sodium intake

Playing Video Game May Boost MS Patients' Balance: Study

Research suggests regular use of Wii accessory might rewire the brain

People With HIV May Be at Lower Risk for Multiple Sclerosis

Constant immune system suppression may be the reason why, researchers say

Stem Cells Reverse MS-Like Illness in Mice

Crippled rodents walked again, but it's uncertain if same approach will help people

Medical Marijuana May Ease Some MS Symptoms, Study Concludes

Finding applies only to pot in pill or spray form, neurologists say