Multiple sclerosis is a condition that causes stiffness and weakness in organs. People who have it may not have symptoms at all or may not be aware of their symptoms. In many cases, sclerosis is an autoimmune disorder resulting in the replacement of normal organ tissue with connective tissue. There are several types of sclerosis, including multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or "Lou Gehrig's disease."
SSc is a progressive disease that begins with cutaneous edema and progresses more slowly in the indurated and atrophic stages. There are no objective quantitative measures for sclerosis of the skin. The traditional instrument for measuring cutaneous involvement is the modified Rodnan skin score, which has limited sensitivity to minute changes. However, newer methods such as ultrasound or lasers have been developed to detect sclerosis in the skin.
Multiple sclerosis is a chronic disease that affects the central nervous system. The disease occurs when the immune system attacks nerve fibers and their protective sheathing. This inflammation damages the nerves, causing them to be damaged. Without myelin, the nerves become damaged and scar tissue may form. The person with MS may experience problems walking, swallowing, breathing, and even bowel control. The average life expectancy of a person with multiple sclerosis is slightly less than that of a healthy individual.
MS can begin at any age, but is most common in people between the ages of 20 and 40. It can affect younger and older people. Relapsing-remitting MS is more common in women than in men. A family history of MS can increase the likelihood of developing the condition. In some cases, a patient may contract the Epstein-Barr virus, which causes infectious mononucleosis. Although there are no treatments for MS, certain medicines may slow or stop the symptoms.