Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory disease that affects the central nervous system (CNS). In MS, the immune system does not function normally and it launches attacks on the brain and spinal cord, which make up the CNS. The immune cells target the fatty insulation that surrounds the wires, or axons, of the nerves. This insulation, or myelin, helps the nerves conduct signals more quickly and efficiently. Without the myelin, the nerves do not fire well and are also more susceptible to damage. Symptoms in MS are related to this dysfunction. Depending on what part of the CNS is attacked, people will experience different symptoms including vision loss, weakness, numbness, and loss of balance, among other possible symptoms.
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