What is MS?

What is multiple sclerosis?
Multiple sclerosis is a neurological disease that interrupts the flow of information from the brain to the body and stops people from moving.  Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are moving us closer to a world free of MS.

Who gets MS?
Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50.  Anyone may develop MS but there are some patterns. Twice as many women as men have MS.  Studies indicate that genetic factors make certain individuals more susceptible than others, but there is no evidence that MS is directly inherited.  Approximately 400,000 Americans acknowledge having MS, and every week about 200 people are diagnosed with the disease…more than one person each hour. Worldwide, MS may affect 2.5 million individuals.

Is there a cure?
There is no known cause of or cure for MS.  Significant advances are being made in both understanding and treating the disease. There are currently six FDA-approved disease-modifying drugs available to treat the major forms of MS.  These drugs reduce the severity of exacerbation and appear to slow the progression of the disease.  Studies show that early and ongoing treatment with an FDA-approved therapy can reduce future disease activity and improve quality of life for many people with multiple sclerosis.  Now, more than ever, there is hope for a cure.

What can I do to help?
Everyone can help to bring us closer to a cure.  From joining a walking or biking event to simply spreading the word about all of the efforts to end MS, you can make a difference.  Check out our page Join Our Group to learn more about what you can do to help.