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Multiple sclerosis or MS is a disease that affects the brain and spinal cord resulting in loss of muscle control, vision, balance, and sensation (such as numbness). With MS, the nerves of the brain and spinal cord are damaged by one's own immune system. Thus, the condition is called an autoimmune disease.
Autoimmune diseases are those whereby the body's immune system, which normally targets and destroys substances foreign to the body such as bacteria, mistakenly attacks normal tissues. In MS, the immune system attacks the brain and spinal cord, the two components of the central nervous system.
Research for a Cure
A number of treatments that may curtail attacks or improve function are under investigation. Some of these treatments involve the combination of drugs that are already in use for multiple sclerosis
Although there is no known cure for multiple sclerosis, several therapies have proven helpful. The primary aims of therapy are returning function after an attack, preventing new attacks, and preventing disability. As with any medical treatment, medications used in the management of MS have several adverse effects. Alternative treatments are pursued by some patients, despite the shortage of supporting, comparable, replicated scientific study.
Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM)
As with most chronic diseases, alternative treatments are pursued by some patients, despite the shortage of supporting, comparable, replicated scientific study. Examples are dietary regimens, herbal medicine, including the use of medical cannabis to help alleviate symptoms, and hyperbaric oxygenation. The therapeutic practice of martial arts such as tai chi, relaxation disciplines such as yoga, or general exercise seems to mitigate fatigue, but has no effect on cognitive function