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Diseases

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Multiple sclerosis

*

* Not a rare disease

Other Names for this Disease

  • MS
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.

Overview

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disorder that affects the central nervous system (CNS), specifically the brain and spinal cord. A fatty tissue called myelin surrounds and protects the nerve fibers of the CNS. Myelin insulates the nerves and allows them to transmit electrical impulses from the brain to other parts of the body. In MS, myelin is lost in multiple areas, and sometimes the nerve fiber itself is damaged or broken. When myelin or the nerve fiber is destroyed or damaged, the nerve’s ability to conduct electrical impulses to and from the brain is disrupted; therefore, nerve signals cannot be transmitted. The disruption of the electrical impulses causes the symptoms associated with MS. [1]
Last updated: 6/24/2013

References

  1. What is Multiple Sclerosis?. National MS Society Web site. August 3, 2006; http://www.nationalmssociety.org/site/PageServer?pagename=HOM_ABOUT_what_is_ms. Accessed 1/7/2008.
Your Questions Answered
by the Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center

2 question(s) from the public on Multiple sclerosis have been answered. See questions and answers. You can also submit a new question.

Basic Information

In Depth Information

  • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. Click on the link to view this information. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
  • The Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) is a catalog of human genes and genetic disorders. Each entry has a summary of related medical articles. It is meant for health care professionals and researchers. OMIM is maintained by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Multiple sclerosis. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.

Press Releases

  • On August 13, 2007, The National Institutes of Health (NIH) posted an article titled Genes Linked to Multiple Sclerosis, which discusses 2 genes that influence the risk of developing multiple sclerosis.  Click on the name of the article to read more.
Other Names for this Disease
  • MS
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.