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Living With Multiple Sclerosis


“Living with Multiple Sclerosis” by Piet Mesmer
Page 12 of 100
Part-II: Understanding Multiple Sclerosis
2. What is Multiple Sclerosis?
Multiple Sclerosis is a complex, chronic, inflammatory disease of
the central nervous system. It is a degenerative disease that
gradually destroys the myelin sheath and thus causes weakness to
the muscles, loss of speech and visual coordination.
The myelin sheath is a fatty layer that surrounds and protects the
neurons which carry messages (electronic signals) between the
brain and other parts of the body. The role of the myelin is
important.
The damage to the myelin causes symptoms of different intensity in
sufferers. Multiple sclerosis is divided into two groups according to
this intensity and frequency. They are the relapsing-remitting type
and the chronic-progressive type.
Chronic-progressive Multiple sclerosis is again divided into
primary-progressive, secondary-progressive and progressive-
relapsing types.
Repeated attacks may occur along the brain and the spinal cord
area, with symptoms lasting from a few days to months. It makes
the body work erratically.
Your natural antibodies, white blood cells, work against the myelin
sheath. There is inflammation and injury to the sheath, which
ultimately causes injury to the nerves it protects. This results in the
scarring of multiple areas, which gives multiple sclerosis its name.
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