Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic degenerative and often disabling
disease. It may cause fatigue, impaired vision, loss of balance and muscle coordination, slurred
speech, tremors, stiffness, incontinence, difficulty walking, short-term memory loss, mood swings
and even paralysis. People with MS live with its unpredictable physical and emotional effects for
the rest of their lives.
What is the cause of MS?
MS involves an abnormal immune response directed against the central nervous system. Although
scientists have identified some clues to why some people develop MS, the exact cause remains
Symptoms result when inflammation and breakdowns occur in myelin, the protective insulation
surrounding the nerve fibres of the central nervous system. Myelin is destroyed, and replaced
by scars of hardened ‘sclerotic’ patches of tissue, which interfere with the transmission of messages
between the brain and the rest of the body.
MS – your questions answered
***Can MS be cured?
Not yet. but science has made great leaps in the understanding and treatment of MS – and
research to find a cure is very promising.
***Is it catching?
No. Although research suggests that genetic factors may make some people more
susceptible to MS than others, the disease is neither contagious nor directly inherited.
***Does MS always cause paralysis?
No. Most people with MS do not become severely disabled. Studies show that 15
years after diagnosis, 50% of people living with MS are independently mobile.