Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a disease of the central nervous system that affects balance, movement and vision. Multiple sclerosis is an example of a demyelinating disease, where the protective coating called myelin that surrounds nerve fibres becomes damaged.
Myelin protects and insulates nerve fibres, increasing electrical resistance and enhancing nerve signal conduction. Destruction of the myelin disrupts the messages being transmitted by nerve fibres and this leads to a wide range of physical and mental symptoms. In multiple sclerosis, the body’s own immune system mistakes myelin for a foreign body and mounts an attack against it, stripping it away from the nerve fibres.
Aside from myelin loss, the nerve fibres eventually become damaged, leading to increasingly severe neurological symptoms.
Examples of the symptoms that may manifest include: