The National Institutes of Health (NIH) defines multiple sclerosis (MS) as an autoimmune disorder that affects the myelin sheath. MS affects women more often than men, with the age of onset between 20 and 40. The myelin sheath, which is made up of oligodendrocytes (a type of glial cell), protects the axon on a neuron; when the myelin sheath is damaged, the lack of insulation disrupts nerve impulses. As a result, the neurons cannot communicate properly, causing the symptoms of MS.
A patient with MS can experience a variety of symptoms—depending on which nerves are damaged. MS can affect the patient's muscles, bowels, eyes, and can cause neurological and sensation changes. The patient has episodes where she has symptoms, followed by periods of remission. Many of these symptoms greatly interfere in the patient's life, like the muscular symptoms that include a loss of balance, weakness in her limbs, muscle spams, tremors, coordination problems, numbness, and walking and limb movement issues.
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