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Multiple Sclerosis; Chronic, Mysterious and Unpredictable

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March is National Multiple Sclerosis Education and Awareness Month and your friends at Broadway Medical want you to be aware of this little misunderstood disease that affects more than 2.3 million people worldwide.

MS

So what is MS? MS (or Multiple Sclerosis) is a chronic, unpredictable disease of the central nervous system.  MS affects the brain, optic nerves and spinal cord of people who have it, causing many problems.

In a person with MS, the body destroys its own myelin. Myel

in is the fatty substance that coats and protects nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord.

MS can cause many problems for the person who has it. Tremors, numbness, extreme fatigue, blurred vision, loss of balance, poor coordination, and slurred speech are all common symptoms. Some of these symptoms occur at the same time, some will not. MS has also been known to go into remission very unexpectedly and a person with MS may be suddenly symptom free. That is no guarantee that the disease will not come back and that adds to the mystery of this strange disease.

Who can be diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis? While anyone can be diagnosed, certain groups are more affected. MS can strike both men and women, but is more common in women. MS appears more frequently in Caucasians than in Hispanics or African American while relatively rare among Asians.

There are many famous and well-known people with MS including:

  • Jack Osbourne
  • Richard Cohen (husband to NBC correspondent Meredith Vieira)
  • Talk show host Montel Williams
  • Ann Romney (wife of Mitt Romney)
  • Country singer Clay Walker
  • Father and son David and Alan Osmond (of the singing Osmonds)
  • Annette Funicello (who died of the disease in April 2013.)

While that list is very diverse, MS is most commonly diagnosed in individuals between the ages of 20 and 50.  There are over 2.5 million people are living with the disease worldwide.

If you or someone you love is living with MS, see Broadway Medical for equipment and products that may be useful including stair lifts, rolling walkers and wheelchairs.