What is Multiple Sclerosis?
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurological condition. It is caused by damage to myelin, the fibre that protects the nerves within the central nervous system. The central nervous system controls the body's actions and activities, such as movement and balance.
Symptoms are numerous and unpredictable. Each person with MS is affected differently. For some people their symptoms develop and worsen over time, for others they come and go. The most common symptoms include fatigue, problems with mobility and balance, pain, muscle spasms and muscle tightness.
There is currently no cure for MS, nor is the cause well understood. There is some evidence to suggest that it is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors but more investigation is needed.
Who is affected?
MS affects more than 100,000 people in the UK. It is the most common neurological condition among young adults.
Individuals can develop MS at any age but symptoms usually first occur between the ages of 20 and 40.
Women are almost twice as likely to develop MS as men.
How we help
We have funded research into possible new treatments of MS under the lead of Professor Ken Smith, Head of the Department of Neuroinflammation at UCL Institute of Neurology