March is Multiple Sclerosis Awareness month. MS is caused by damage to the myelin sheath, the protective covering that surrounds nerve cells. This is caused by inflammation – when the body’s own immune cells attack the nervous system.
While the cause is unknown, common thought is that a virus or gene defect are to blame, along with environmental factors. MS is commonly diagnosed between the ages of 20-40, but can be seen at any age. People who have family members with MS are slightly more likely to develop it as are those living in areas where it is more common.
– Dr. Salvatore Napoli, The Neurology Center of New England