CLINICAL TIPS: MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS
Louis Roller takes a look at multiple sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a demyelinating disease in which the insulating covers of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord are damaged.
The cause of multiple sclerosis is unknown. It’s considered an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues.
In the case of MS, this immune system malfunction destroys myelin (the fatty substance that coats and protects nerve fibres in the brain and spinal cord).This damage disrupts the ability of parts of the nervous system to communicate, resulting in a range of signs and symptoms, including physical, mental, and sometimes psychiatric problems.
Approximately 23,000 Australians have MS, and it is estimated that every year the number of people diagnosed increases by 4%. Worldwide, MS affects about 2.5 million people.