Multiple sclerosis (MS), also known as disseminated sclerosis or encephalomyelitis disseminate, is a degenerative nerve disease that causes the insulated covering (myelin) of brain and spinal cord nerve cells to deteriorate over time. Also the most common autoimmune disorder, early symptoms may include tingling or weakness in the extremities, numbness, muscle stiffness, loss of coordination or balance, blurred vision, disruptions in memory and focus, and urinary problems.
Twice as common in women than men, symptoms of MS often begin between the ages of 20 and 40. They can be mild, and may disappear between attacks. However, permanent neurological damage does occur, and in the most severe instances results in the loss of speech and/or motor skills. Long-term outcomes are difficult to predict, yet typically women, those who are diagnosed early in life, have a relapse course, or initially experienced infrequent attacks tend to have better outcomes. Though there is no known cure for MS, multiple new diagnostic methods and treatments are currently under development.
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The General Neurology program of Northwell Health Neuroscience Institute is a multidisciplinary program focused on developing state-of-the-art diagnostic and therapeutic solutions for neurological disorders which involve the brain, spine, nerves and muscles.