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     Multiple Sclerosis or MS is a chronic disease of the central nervous system, which is made up of the brain, spinal cord and optic nerve.  The nerves are surrounded by a protective fatty coating called myelin.  It is believed that the bodies' immune system attacks the central nervous system, leaving the myelin damaged, resulting in scar tissue.  These scars or lesions occur creating a short circuit to electrical impulses traveling along the nerve fibers.   Some of the symptoms may be numbness, muscle spasms, fatigue, spasticity, swallowing problems, tremors, difficulty walking, paralysis, loss of balance, slurred speech, cognitive difficulties and loss of vision.  The symptoms vary from person to person.   MS symptoms generally appear between the ages of 20 to 40 and are two to three times more common in women than men.  A Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), which will show these lesions, is the best procedure to make a diagnosis.  Individuals with MS will also suffer from severe depression, alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction.  There is not a cure for Multiple Sclerosis but patients are treated with disease - modifying agents such as Avonex, Betaseron, Copaxone, Novantrone, Rebif and Tysabri.  Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, a dedicated neurologist and counseling are very important components to manage this disease.

     Worldwide, 2.5 million people have been diagnosed with MS.  Multiple Sclerosis is very common in northern Europe, North America, southeast Australia and New Zeeland.  In the United States, approximately 10,000 to 15,000 new cases are diagnosed every year.  There are many people in the Midwest suffering from MS, due to its frigid winters and hot, humid summers.  MS is not directly hereditary, although cases have shown that a parent and child or siblings have been diagnosed with the disease.

     For more information on Multiple Sclerosis, please contact the Accelerated Cure Project, a 501 ( c ) 3 non profit organization in Waltham, MA.  ACP is dedicated to finding a cure for MS.   Website www.acceleratedcure.org