Brain and Spine Conditions - Neurology

Multiple Sclerosis

Helping you live confidently with MS.

About Multiple Sclerosis

If you have been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), you know your symptoms can be unpredictable, occurring one day and then mysteriously disappearing the next. You also know MS can range from relatively mild to disabling. Ascension care teams are dedicated to helping you better manage your condition and maintain your health.

Ascension’s experienced doctors and specialists can help you improve your day-to-day quality of life with the latest MS therapies and compassionate support.

Integrated teams focused on your total care

Our multiple sclerosis care approach combines many effective treatment options customized to your specific needs, including:

  • Nutrition counseling.
  • Exercise.
  • Physical therapy.
  • Botox® injections.
  • Clinical trials.

We’ll work with you to create a personalized care plan to help minimize your symptoms with the goal of helping you live a fuller life with MS.

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Learn More About Multiple Sclerosis

What do you know about multiple sclerosis? Test your knowledge by using these resources:

Multiple Sclerosis FAQs

What is multiple sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a long-lasting (chronic) disease of the central nervous system. It is thought to be an autoimmune disorder, a condition in which the body attacks itself by mistake. MS is an unpredictable disease that affects people differently. Some people with MS may have only mild symptoms. Others may lose their ability to see clearly, write, speak, or walk when communication between the brain and other parts of the body becomes disrupted.

Myelin is the fatty tissue that surrounds and protects nerve fibers. In MS, the myelin is destroyed in many areas. This loss of myelin forms scar tissue called sclerosis. These areas are also called plaques or lesions. When the nerves are damaged in this way, they can’t conduct electrical impulses to and from the brain.

What causes multiple sclerosis?

There are many possible causes of MS, such as:

  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Infectious agents, such as viruses
  • Environmental factors
  • Genetic factors

What are the symptoms of multiple sclerosis?

The symptoms of MS are often unpredictable. They may be mild or severe, short-term or long-lasting. They may appear in different combinations, depending on the area of the nervous system affected. Symptoms of MS are grouped as primary, secondary, or tertiary. The symptoms of MS may look like other health problems. Always talk with your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.

Primary Symptoms

These symptoms are a direct result of the destruction of myelin:

  • Weakness
  • Numbness
  • Shaking (tremors)
  • Loss of vision
  • Pain
  • Paralysis
  • Loss of balance
  • Bladder and bowel problems

Secondary Symptoms

These are complications that may occur as a result of the primary symptoms, for example:

  • Paralysis can lead to bedsores.
  • Bladder problems may cause repeated urinary tract infections.
  • Inactivity can result in weakness, poor posture, muscle imbalances, decreased bone density, and breathing problems.
  • Becoming less mobile because of weakness and trouble swallowing can lead to a greater risk of pneumonia.

Tertiary Symptoms

These are social, job-related, and psychological problems:

  • A person who becomes unable to walk or drive may lose his or her livelihood.
  • Strain of dealing with a chronic illness may disrupt personal relationships.
  • Depression is often seen among people with MS.

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