Nearly everyone with multiple sclerosis (MS) has signs of lesions in the brain, as shown by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, according to Anthony Reder, MD, a multiple sclerosis specialist and professor of neurology at the University of Chicago Medicine.
But the brain isn’t the only area where lesions can develop — MS can also attack the spinal cord. Because finding these lesions involves more elaborate imaging tests, spinal cord lesions in MS are studied less often. Many people with MS aren’t aware of the role these lesions may play in the disease process.
Researchers, too, have knowledge gaps about this feature of the disease. Filling these gaps may lead to a better understanding of progressive forms of multiple sclerosis.
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Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a potentially disabling disease of the brain and spinal cord (central nervous system).
In MS, the immune system attacks the protective sheath (myelin) that covers nerve fibers and causes communication problems between your brain and the rest of your body. Eventually, the disease can cause permanent damage or deterioration of the nerves.
Signs and symptoms of MS vary widely and depend on the amount of nerve damage and which nerves are affected. Some people with severe MS may lose the ability to walk independently or at all, while others may experience long periods of remission without any new symptoms.
There’s no cure for multiple sclerosis. However, treatments can help speed recovery from attacks, modify the course of the disease and manage symptoms.