10 Celebrities with Multiple Sclerosis

A Look Into Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic autoimmune disease that attacks the brain and central nervous system. Symptoms of MS can range from mild, such as numbness in the arms and legs, to severe, such as loss of vision and paralysis. Multiple sclerosis is a disease without a cure, and its symptoms can sometimes be difficult to manage.

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Review Date: 
November 24, 2013

Last Updated:
April 7, 2014

More About Multiple Sclerosis

It is estimated that up to 400,000 people in the United States suffer from multiple sclerosis (MS). It is caused by autoimmune destruction of the fatty layer of insulation (myelin sheath) around the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, resulting in the slowing or stopping of nerve signals along the affected nerves.

There is no defined cause of MS, as genetic, environmental, and viral causes have all been considered. Most commonly, the disease follows a 'relapsing-remitting' course, meaning patients will have acute 'flare-ups' or attacks, then periods of quiet remission. Almost every neurological system can be affected.