Autoimmune disorders

Information, Symptoms, Treatments and Resources

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What Is Multiple Sclerosis?

What Is MS?

What Is MS?

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease that affects your brain and spinal chord. If you have MS, your immune system attacks your central nervous system by eating away at myelin, the protective sheath around nerve cells. The damage to this protective layer is permanent, and interrupts communication between your brain and the rest of your body. In milder cases, MS can cause numbness and muscle weakness; in more severe cases, people with MS can lose the ability to walk, speak or write. 

By Jen Matz. Published March 26, 2013. Jenilee Matz is a medical writer, health educator, and triathlete based in Charlotte, NC.