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Multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a nervous system disease that affects your brain and spinal cord. It damages the myelin sheath, the material that surrounds and protects your nerve cells. This damage slows down or blocks messages between your brain and your body, leading to the symptoms of MS. They can include. -Visual disturbances. -Muscle weakness. -Trouble with coordination and balance. -Sensations such as numbness, prickling, or pins and needles . -Thinking and memory problems. No one knows what causes MS. It may be an autoimmune disease, which happens when your immune system attacks healthy cells in your body by mistake. Multiple sclerosis affects women more than men. It often begins between the ages of 20 and 40. Usually, the disease is mild, but some people lose the ability to write, speak, or walk. There is no single test for MS. Doctors use a medical history, physical exam, neurological exam, MRI, and other tests to diagnose it. There is no cure for MS, but medicines may slow it down and help control symptoms. Physical and occupational therapy may also help. NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.  [from MedlinePlus]

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Multiple sclerosis susceptibility

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory, demyelinating, neurodegenerative disorder of the central nervous system (CNS) of unknown etiology. The peak onset is between age 20 and 40 years; it may develop in children and has also been identified in persons older than age 60 years. Women are affected approximately twice as often as men. The most common clinical signs and symptoms, occurring in isolation or in combination, include sensory disturbance of the limbs (~30%), partial or complete visual loss (~15%), acute and subacute motor dysfunction of the limbs (~13%), diplopia (7%), and gait dysfunction (5%). The course may be relapsing-remitting or progressive, severe or mild, and may involve the entire neuroaxis in a widespread fashion or predominantly affect the spinal cord and optic nerves. The four clinical phenotypes of MS are: relapsing-remitting MS (RR-MS) (initially occurring in more than 80% of individuals with MS); primary progressive MS (PP-MS) (occurring in 10%-20% of individuals with MS); progressive relapsing MS (PR-MS) (a rare form); and secondary progressive MS (SP-MS), to which approximately half of all persons diagnosed with RR-MS convert within a decade after the initial diagnosis. [from GeneReviews]

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