Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

The following information will help answer some of your questions about multiple sclerosis (MS). It'll also provide information about the different ways to treat MS.

What is MS?

MS is a condition in which the immune system attacks the covering that protects your nerves. This causes nerve damage, making it hard for your brain to talk to the rest of your body.

Symptoms may include:

  • Visual disturbances
  • Muscle weakness
  • Trouble with coordination and balance
  • Sensations such as numbness, prickling, or "pins and needles"
  • Thinking and memory problems

What causes MS?

The exact cause of MS is unknown. Many scientists believe that several different factors (e.g., environmental, genetics, etc.) are involved when the body's immune system attacks its own tissues.

How is MS treated?

There is no cure for MS. But there are medications available to help manage your condition.

Listed below are some of the different types of medications that are available to treat MS.

  • Interferons may help to lower the number of exacerbations and may slow the progression of physical disability.
  • Monoclonal antibodies may help alter the immune response.
  • Oral medications may help delay the progression of physical disability and decrease the number of exacerbations.

MS medications can be injected under the skin or into the muscle, infused into a vein, or taken by mouth.

View a video with more information on Multiple Sclerosis treatment and care.

For more information about MS, contact the following resources:

  • Multiple Sclerosis Foundation
    Phone: 1-888-673-6287
    msfocus.org
  • Multiple Sclerosis Association America
    Phone: 1-800-532-7667
    mymsaa.org
  • National Multiple Sclerosis Society
    Phone: 1-800-344-4867
    nationalmssociety.org