Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease that attacks the central nervous system and destroys nerve tissue through inflammation. The debilitating disease often progresses slowly over multiple decades. MS typically affects women aged 20 to 40, but both genders can develop the condition. Children can get MS, but it often remains undiagnosed until later in life. It is possible to get MS past the age of 40, but this is much less common. The symptoms of MS are unpredictable and vary in intensity. Many people with MS experience fatigue and numbness and more severe symptoms include paralysis, vision impairment or compromised brain function. Issues with vision can be one of the most common symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis. Inflammation affects the optic nerve and impedes sight, causing blurred or double vision or even blindness.
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There are no specific tests to verify if someone has MS. The diagnosis is oftentimes reliant on ruling out other health conditions that may cause the same symptoms. If preliminary signs point to MS, blood tests, a spinal tap, an MRI, or tests that record responses to stimuli by the body's nervous system may also be employed. There is no cure for Multiple Sclerosis, though treatment can slow progression or improve episode recovery time. In some cases, people with MS have only mild symptoms that do not require extensive treatment.
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