Multiple sclerosis is a chronic disease that affects the central nervous system.
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It is more common among Caucasians than other races, according to National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and is twice as common in women than men.
The most prevalent neurological disease, MS affects as many as 500,000 people in the United States, according to information provided by The Jimmie Heuga Center. Two hundred new cases are diagnosed each week, according to the center, which was founded in 1984 to help people with MS improve their lives.
Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 40, according to MS Society.
The initial symptoms of MS often include difficulty walking, abnormal sensations such as numbness or tingling, and pain and loss of vision due to inflammation of the optic nerve. Less common early symptoms include tremors, lack of coordination, slurred speech, sudden onset of paralysis and a decline in the ability to think, reason and remember, according to MS Society.