Multiple sclerosis is the most common immune mediated disorder affecting the central nervous system. It is a demyelinating disease in which damaged to the brain and spinal cord, disrupts the ability of parts of the nervous system to communicate, resulting in a range of signs and symptoms, including physical, mental, and sometimes psychiatric problems. Specific symptoms can include double vision, blindness in one eye, muscle weakness, trouble with sensation.
While the cause is not clear, the underlying mechanism is thought to be either destruction by the immune system or failure of the myelin producing cells. Proposed causes for this include genetics and environmental factors such as being triggered by a viral infection. MS is usually diagnosed based on the presenting signs and symptoms and the results of supporting medical tests.
There is no known cure for multiple sclerosis. Treatments attempt to improve function after an attack and prevent new attacks. Medications used to treat MS, while modestly effective, can have side effects and be poorly tolerated. Physical therapy can help with peoples ability to function. Many people pursue alternative treatments.