Multiple sclerosis is a chronic, autoimmune disease of the central nervous system. While the exact cause is not known, scientists do know that MS causes a person's white blood cells to attack their myelin (a fatty substance that insulates nerve fibers), damaging the nerve impulses that travel to and from the brain and spinal cord. Symptoms — often unpredictable and erratic — range from mild to severe and vary by patient.
Some common symptoms may include:
- Blurred vision
- Progressive leg weakness
- Problems with bowel, bladder and sexual function
- Trigeminal neuralgia, a condition that causes sudden, severe facial pain
- Spastic movements
Due to the complex and varying nature of MS, experience in treating and researching the disease is a key to determining the best treatments. Neurologists at UChicago Medicine have a long history of expert clinical care and research in multiple sclerosis. The physicians who treat multiple sclerosis patients are the same ones who research the causes and mechanisms of MS, develop effective treatments for the disease and proactively search for a cure.