Chas Gant MD, PhD
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory, severe, usually progressive, autoimmune, demyelinating, mildly inheritable disease of the central nervous system which many studies suggest is rapidly increasing in prevalence and incidence. The earliest symptoms of MS include psychological distress, fatigue, numbness, impaired vision, loss of balance, weakness and even bladder dysfunction, and they usually begin in early adulthood. With conventional management of MS, these symptoms can wax and wane for up to 30 years, but in roughly 50% of all cases MS steadily progresses to severe disability and premature death killing about 3,000 Americans a year. MS is named for the many scars it produces in the brain and spinal cord as white blood cells (T cells) attack the myelin insulation around neurons. MS afflicts between 250,000 and 350,000 Americans per year.