Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease of the nervous system. It causes swelling, harm, and scarring of the nerve sheath that covers the brain and spine. There can also be harm to the nerve itself.
There are many types:
- Relapsing-remitting—Problems return for few months or years, last for a few weeks or months, and then go away. They may get worse each time.
- Primary progressive—Problems slowly worsen after they first show up. They don't go away and come back.
- Secondary progressive—After years of going away and coming back, problems start to get worse.
- Progressive relapsing—Problems slowly worsen after they first happen. One or more relapses may also happen.
A problem with the body's immune system seems to be the cause. It is not known why this happens. The system protects the body from infection and disease. With MS, it starts attacking the body instead. These health problems may lead to MS:
- Viral or other infection
- Your genes
- Environmental causes
- Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board Rimas Lukas, MD
- Review Date: 09/2018 -