Your Basic Guide to Multiple Sclerosis

Medically Reviewed by Dr Samantha Miller, MBChB

Photo Courtesy: Maskot/Getty Images

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory condition. It affects the protective layer of nerves, called the myelin sheath, in your central nervous system — which comprises your brain and spinal cord. MS disrupts the ways that your nerves typically send messages from your brain to the rest of your body.

There’s no specific cause of MS. However, you’re more likely to develop it if you have a family history of MS, if you were born female or if you smoke. There’s also an association between low vitamin D levels and an increased risk of MS that’s possibly related to reduced exposure to sunlight.

Various wellness habits and strategies can help you manage MS symptoms and lead a more comfortable life. If you or someone you know has recently been diagnosed with MS or you’re interested in understanding this health condition, learn more about its symptoms, diagnosis and treatment.