Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a disorder in which the nerves of the eye, brain and spinal cord lose myelin, a protective coating that facilitates the transmission of electrical impulses. The cause of Multiple Sclerosis is unknown. However, scientists believe that a virus or other antigen triggers a process that results in deteriorated myelin. These antibodies damage the myelin sheath and interfere with the transmission of electrical impulses.
Heredity and the environment both play roles in the development of Multiple Sclerosis. Approximately 5% of those afflicted with the condition have a sibling with Multiple Sclerosis. Also, climate appears to play a role. Only 1 in 10,000 people born in a tropical climate develop Multiple Sclerosis, while 1 in 2,000 born in temperate climates develop the disorder.
There are many drugs available that help to reduce the symptoms associated with Multiple Sclerosis. While these drugs do not cure the disease, they can help the patient maintain a more normal lifestyle.
View sub-topics at right to learn more about some specific drugs used to treat Multiple Sclerosis and some of the drugs' more serious adverse side effects.
- Avonex / Interferon beta-1a
- Prescription & Over-the-Counter Drugs: Overview
- Novantrone / Mitoxantrone Hydrochloride
- Tysabri / Natalizumab