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A 40-year-old member asked:

Multiple sclerosis = demyelination?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Bennett Machanic
Neurology 52 years experience
Characteristic: Demyelination refers to damage to the coverings of the nerves in the brain and spinal cord, and is very characteristic of the inflammatory process that occurs in ms. This can also occur in children with hereditary leukodystrophies, and can be associated with acquired neurological disorders. The disease modifying drugs in MS are designed to control demyelination and many work well.
Dr. William Shaffer
Neurology 17 years experience
Yes: The nerve covering, myelin, in the central nervous system gets attacked.

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A 25-year-old male asked:

What is multiple sclerosis? What is multiple sclerosis?

11 doctor answers14 doctors weighed in
Dr. Pavle Repovic
Specializes in Neurology
Multiple : Multiple sclerosis (ms) is a disease of the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord and optic nerves) that is driven primarily by the immune system. It results in "demyelination", or loss of myelin, which is an insulating and protective cover for the neurons. Without this cover, the neurons can sometimes die, or malfunction, which results in ms symptoms. Because neurons control most body functions, ms symptoms can be extremely variable. The most common symptoms in ms result from the damage to neurons in visual, sensory and motor systems, and manifest as blurry vision, numbness or tingling, and weakness. Typically, the ms manifests in the form of relapses, which is to say, sudden neurological problems, and these patients are said to have relapsing ms. In a subgroup of ms patients, the problems develop slowly, over months or years, and these people have progressive ms. It is possible also to have progressive and relapsing ms at the same time, though this is less common. There is no known cause of ms, but there are approved and effective treatments available for relapsing forms of ms. These treatments do not reverse the damage, but can help prevent future relapses. These should be discussed with your physician in more detail, because they have different mechanisms of action, risks and benefits. For further reading on ms, i would suggest the national ms society website (www.Nmss.Org).

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Last updated Jan 12, 2015
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