A diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) often leaves patients and their families with many unanswered questions. It can be hard to find information, connect with other patients, and find support.
Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about MS:
What is MS?
MS is an autoimmune disease — the body mistakenly produces antibodies against the protective coating that surrounds the nerve cell extensions, also called the myelin sheath. This attack damages the protective coating, leaving nerves exposed and vulnerable to damage.
How do I know if I have MS?
The symptoms of MS can vary from person to person. Many patients experience fatigue, muscle weakness or cramps, and numbness or tingling in the face or hands. Some patients have difficulty walking, and may have problems with the bladder or bowels. Vision problems (such as blurred or double vision) may also be caused by MS.
Read more about “MS Symptoms“.
Is MS contagious?
No, MS is not contagious; it cannot be transmitted from person to person. The exact causes of MS are not clear. It may be a combination of factors, from environmental exposures to genetic factors, that cause the disease to develop. It is also likely that causes vary from person to person.
Read more about “Causes of MS“.
Can my children inherit MS?
There isn’t a clear genetic cause of MS, but siblings and children of people with MS seem more likely to develop the disease. This could be because of the inheritance of genetic risk factors associated with the disease or a similar environment.
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