Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a disorder in which the immune system attacks the body's own myelin which protects the nerves. Damaged nerve fibers (axons) distort nerve impulses and messaging from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body.
This disrupted messaging causes blurred vision, numbness and weakness, which may come and go, in an unpredictable cycle of flare-up and remission.
In the past few years some progress has been made. New drug treatments have been developed. Research with the goal to restore the myelin and nervous system function is continuing.
Some genes have been highlighted that may make people more vulnerable to MS. "Eventually, MS researchers hope genetics will allow doctors to identify people at high risk for the disease and intervene with treatment at very early stages of MS -- perhaps even before symptoms appear."