Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. The cause of MS is still unknown – scientists believe the disease is triggered by an as-yet-unidentified environmental factor in a person who is genetically predisposed to respond.
According to the National MS Society, MS is thought to affect more than 2.3 million people worldwide. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot be predicted. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the following risk factors may increase a person’s risk of developing MS:
- MS can occur at any age, but usually affects people somewhere between the ages of 16 and 55.
- Women are more than two to three times as likely as men are to have relapsing-remitting MS.
- Family history. If one of your parents or siblings has had MS, you are at higher risk of developing the disease.
- Certain infections. A variety of viruses have been linked to MS, including Epstein-Barr, the virus that causes infectious mononucleosis.
- White people, particularly those of Northern European descent, are at highest risk of developing MS. People of Asian, African or Native American descent have the lowest risk.
- MS is far more common in countries with temperate climates, including Canada, the northern United States, New Zealand, southeastern Australia and Europe.
- Vitamin D. Having low levels of vitamin D and low exposure to sunlight is associated with a greater risk of MS.
- Certain autoimmune diseases.You have a slightly higher risk of developing MS if you have thyroid disease, type 1 diabetes or inflammatory bowel disease.
- Smokers who experience an initial event of symptoms that may signal MS are more likely than nonsmokers to develop a second event that confirms relapsing-remitting MS.
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Common symptoms of MS include overwhelming fatigue, problems with vision and/or speech, difficulty with balance and coordination, and various levels of impaired mobility. Some people also experience debilitating acute pain, go completely blind, or become paralyzed. MS can also be the cause of chronic depression that often results in suicide. Although there are a number of treatment options to manage MS symptoms, there is no cure for the disease
Whether you’re tackling the physical, emotional, or mental symptoms of multiple sclerosis, you are not alone. If you or someone you know is suffering from MS, or any other illness, and you are being denied benefits by your insurer, please call Kantor & Kantor for a free consultation at 888-569-6013. You can use our online contact form as well.
We can help!