Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a condition of the central nervous system (CNS), and is also considered to be an auto-immune disease.
The CNS consists of the brain
and spinal cord, and it works in tandem with the peripheral nervous system (PNS) to send messages around the body that may relate to movement or sensation.
Aetiology and epidemiology
Messages are transported from the brain via the spinal cord, through the PNS, via nerves also known as neurons. Neurons contain fibres, similar to wires, which are surrounded and protected by a sheath of protein called myelin. If this sheath is damaged, in a process called demyelination, messages can become confused or lost.
In MS the myelin sheath in the brain and spinal cord are damaged, becoming hard or scarred.1
The autoimmune system is designed to fight off any attacks
to the body's immune system, such as those instigated by a virus or infection. Unfortunately, in people with MS, the system attacks the myelin sheath, causing damage. This impacts on the general state
of the body, and its ability to function effectively.