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What Is Multiple Sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system that damages the myelin sheath, the material surrounding your nerve cells. The most common form is called relapsing-remitting MS, in which symptoms come and go. MS affects nearly 1,000,000 Americans and about 2.5 million people worldwide, and women are more commonly affected than men.

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Symptoms & Treatment

Symptoms of MS usually begin between the ages of 20 and 40, and can include:

  • fatigue,
  • muscle weakness,
  • tremors,
  • tingling and burning sensations,
  • numbness,
  • chronic pain,
  • vision problems, and
  • poor bladder control.

While there is currently no cure for MS, treatments are available to help slow its progression and reduce the frequency and severity of relapses. Many people with MS also use mind and body practices (such as yoga or tai chi), dietary supplements, or other complementary health approaches to help ease their symptoms.