MS Facts

Here are some quick facts about MS you may not know...

  • MS is a progressive disease of the nervous system, for which there is no cure.
  • An estimated 2.5 million people in the world have MS.
  • More women than men have MS, with a ratio of 2 men to 3 women affected.
  • MS is the most common diseases of the central nervous system in young adults.
  • There are four types of MS: relapsing remitting, secondary progressive, primary progressive and progressive relapsing.
  • Sclerosis means scars; these are the plaques or lesions in the brain and spinal cord.
  • In MS, the protective myelin covering of the nerve fibres in the central nervous system is damaged.
  • Inflammation and ultimate loss of myelin causes disruption to nerve transmission and affects many functions of the body.
  • While the exact cause of MS is not known, much is known about its effect on immune system function which may be the ultimate cause of the disease.
  • MS is not directly hereditary, although genetic susceptibility plays a part in its development.
  • MS is not contagious.
  • Diagnosis of MS is generally between 20 and 40 years of age, although onset may be earlier.
  • MS is rarely diagnosed under 12 and over 55 years of age.
  • Life span is not significantly affected by MS.
  • There are a wide range of symptoms. Fatigue is one of the most common.
  • The incidence of MS increases in countries further from the equator.
  • There is no drug that can cure MS, but treatments are now available which can modify the course of the disease.
  • Many of the symptoms of MS can be successfully managed and treated.