Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease caused by the body’s own immune cells. Instead of recognizing and fighting infections, the immune cells attack the protective material (myelin) that covers nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord. Over time, the protective covering is broken down, which causes neurologic problems such as difficulty walking, loss of vision, problems with memory, and other disabilities.
Most MS patients have relapsing forms of MS. In relapsing MS, patients have immune attacks in which symptoms worsen for a period of time (relapse), followed by a period in which symptoms get better (remission). There are drugs to decrease relapses, but they do not cure MS; and most MS patients have to take medicine for MS throughout their lives.