What is MS? MS is a chronic, unpredictable disease of the central nervous system that is thought to be an autoimmune disorder in which the myelin sheath that protects our nerves is damaged, disrupting the signal to the brain. Refer to our Fun Fact blog to watch a short video that clearly explains MS!
Who gets MS? Anyone may develop MS but there are some patterns. More than twice as many women as men have MS. Studies suggest that genetics can make individuals more susceptible than others, but there is no evidence that MS is directly inherited. Most people are diagnosed between 20-50 years old.
How many people have MS? 400,000 Americans have MS, and every week 200 more are diagnosed. 2.5 million people are affected worldwide.
What are the typical symptoms of MS? Symptoms are very unpredictable and are unique for each person and can vary from time to time in the same person. One person may experience abnormal fatigue and have episodes of numbness and tingling while another could have loss of balance and muscle coordination that can make walking difficult. Another person may have slurred speech, tremors, stiffness, and bladder problems. Symptoms may come and go.
Is MS fatal? Most people with MS have a normal or near-normal life expectancy.
Does MS always cause paralysis? No. The majority of people with MS do not become severely disabled. 2/3 of people with MS remain able to walk, though some will need an aid.
Can MS be cured? CraniuMS is working extremely hard to help fund a cure. As of yet there is no cure, but disease modifying drugs are available that may help slow down the course of MS and manage symptoms.
Keep working hard and get the word out! We have just three days remaining for MS Awareness Week! Congrats to our MSAW All-Stars for the donations they have collected so far this week!