The really clear guide to Multiple Sclerosis

There’s a lot of information out there about MS, but it’s not always easy to find a guide to the basics. I know how confusing it can be to get to grips with what Multiple Sclerosis is, and how it can affect you – especially if you’re newly diagnosed.

So I’ve put together this ‘really clear guide’. If you want to understand the topic quickly, and find links to more detailed material, then this is the page you’ve been looking for.

What is Multiple Sclerosis?
It’s a disease of the nervous system.

Everyone’s nerve cells have a covering called myelin. MS causes scars to this covering, which can damage the way the nerves and brain talk to each other – and it’s this that can cause problems with the way your body functions.

Read a detailed description of MS >>

What are the early symptoms of MS?
You might experience many or only a few. Most people first notice a single nerve disfunction, such as an inflamed nerve in one eye. Other symptoms include:
• tiredness • blurred or double vision • weak arms or legs • numbness or tingling • dizziness • balance problems • problems concentrating. If you are experiencing any unusual symptoms, always get them checked out by a doctor.

Read more about symptoms >>

What causes MS?
We simply don’t know. Are there different types of Multiple Sclerosis?
MS always attacks the myelin that covers your nerve cells, but the disease can progress in four main ways.
  • Relapsing-remitting: 85% of people have relapsing-remitting MS. They have attacks of worsening nervous function, followed by full or partial recovery periods.
  • Primary-progressive: the disease gets slowly worse, with no clear periods of remission.
  • Secondary-progressive: after a period of relapsing-remitting MS, the disease then gets slowly worse with no clear periods of remission. Thanks to modern medications, far fewer people suffer in this particular way.
  • Progressive-relapsing: Only rarely, sufferers find the disease steadily worsens with clear attacks of deteriorating nervous function as well.

Read more about how MS can progress >>

Can MS be cured? Not yet. But it is possible to manage symptoms with drugs and therapies. Ongoing research gives us hope that MS may be cured at some point in the future.

Is it contagious? No.

Will I pass MS on to my children?
It is highly unlikely your children will develop MS. Talk to a health professional and, above all, don’t let it put you off having children.

I’ve been told I’ve got MS. Will I end up in a wheelchair?
Most people with MS do not become severely disabled. Two-thirds of people can walk 20 years after developing the disease, but some do need walking aids to help tiredness, balance or weakness.

Where can I get help for Multiple Sclerosis?
Your first port of call will probably be your GP, but there are other health professionals who can help: specialist neurologists, MS nurses, physiotherapists and occupational therapists, amongst others.

Other good sources of help and information include:
And, of course, I’m happy to answer questions! Just drop me a line.

How can I help fight MS?
Get in touch!

What would you like to do now?
Find out more about my fundraising
Learn more about me
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