An estimated 350,000 people in the United States are living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), an inflammatory nerve disease affecting the central nervous system. The immune system of an MS patient attacks and deteriorates the protective sheath covering the nerves in the brain and spinal cord. When the nerves are no longer protected, the cells become inflamed and damaged. Nerve signals and communications are slowed, as a result, and this can even eliminate the nerves’ ability to communicate completely.
A couple of unique data trends exist for MS. Women are statistically more likely to develop MS than men. And veterans appear to be significantly more likely to develop MS than the general population. Researchers note that the increasing incidence of MS among military personnel have manifested over the past two to three generations, speculating that “there may be unique environmental exposures within the military” that increase the risk of MS.
MS is the most common debilitating neurological disease of young people, typically appearing between the ages of 20 and 40. Depending upon the severity of damage and which nerves are affected, symptoms of multiple sclerosis may vary.
Common symptoms of MS include: