Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a immune-mediated disease in which the immune system mistakenly attacks myelin and nerve fibers in central nervous system (brain, spinal cord and optic nerves) leading to disrupted nerve signals causing various degree of disabilities.
MS affects 2.5 million people diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50 (2 to 3 women for 1 man). The average life expectancy of MS patients is 5 to 10 years lower than the general average. The cause of MS is still unknown.
Most people have a relapsing-remitting disease course with relapses followed by quiet periods of disease remission that can last months or even years and are likely to develop a steady progression of symptoms, known as secondary-progressive MS.
There is no cure for multiple sclerosis but there are a dozen anti-inflammatory or immunomodulating drugs to help speeding recovery from attacks, modifying the course of the disease and managing symptoms. These drugs controls the relapses but hardly the disease process itself and do not cure it. Many of the disease-modifying therapies used to treat MS carry significant health risks.