Are you sure you know everything about Multiple Sclerosis already? We delve into some facts and figures that might surprise you, in order to spread awareness and education on this debilitating disease:
1. On average, each week around the country there are more than 10 Australians diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
2. There are currently more than 25,600 people in Australia living with MS.
3. Women make up approximately three quarters of all people with MS.
4. Multiple sclerosis is a neurological disease, which means it affects your nerves. It is also an autoimmune disease, which is a malfunction of your body’s defences against disease as they start attacking your own cells.
5. If you have MS, your immune system attacks the protective substance that covers your nerves, known as ‘myelin’. These unprotected nerves are damaged and can’t function as they would with healthy myelin.
6. While much effort and research has gone into uncovering the exact cause of Multiple Sclerosis, it is still unknown.
7. The word sclerosis originates from the Greek word ‘skleros’ meaning ‘hard’. Those who have multiple sclerosis develop hard areas called ‘plaques’ along a neuron’s axon (the long threadlike part of a nerve cell). ‘Multiple’ refers to the many different areas of the nervous system that may have damaged myelin.
8. A few celebrities who suffer from MS include actress Selma Blair (Cruel Intentions, Legally Blonde), actress Jamie-Lynn Sigler (The Sopranos) and reality TV personality Jack Osbourne.
9. The lifespan of a person who has MS is just about as long as the lifespan of a person without the condition.
10. Some Multiple Sclerosis symptoms are more common than others. One of the most common symptoms are sight issues such as sudden loss of vision in one eye or both eyes in some rare cases, double vision and blurred vision. Other symptoms of MS include facial pain, fatigue, severe dizziness, muscle spasms, numbness, weakness, speech problems, fatigue, depression, mental fogginess and confusion.
11. People with MS are three times more likely to suffer from depression.
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