Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic disease of the nervous system that can affect young and middle-aged adults. The course of this illness usually involves recurrent relapses followed by remissions, but some patients experience a chronic progressive course.
The myelin sheaths surrounding nerves in the brain and spinal cord are damaged, which affects the function of the nerves involved. The underlying cause of the nerve damage is unknown.
Multiple Sclerosis affects different parts of the brain and spinal cord, resulting in typically scattered symptoms.
These can include:
- Unsteady gait and shaky movement of the limbs (ataxia)
- Rapid involuntary movements of the eyes (nystagmus)
- Defects in speech pronunciation (dysarthria)
- Spastic weakness and retrobulbar neuritis (= inflammation of the optic nerve)
See also diseases and disorders of the nervous system (all on one page).
Further information about the nervous system includes the main parts of the nervous system, parts of the brain and the pathway of a nerve impulse.