The cause of MS is not yet known. However, scientists
and researchers do have an understanding of the development
of MS in the central nervous system.
A protective coating called "myelin" surrounds the
nerve fibers of the brain and spinal cord, collectively
known as the central nervous system. Myelin functions
much like the insulation on an electrical wire, protecting
the flow of electrical impulses along the line.
In MS, an immune system reaction causes a breakdown
of the myelin sheath. When any part of the myelin sheath
is destroyed, nerve impulses to and from the brain are
distorted or interrupted, impairing functions such as
movement, speech or sight.
The end result is Multiple Sclerosis. "Multiple" because
many areas of the brain and spinal cord are affected.
"Sclerosis" because scleroses, or hardened patches of
scar tissue, may form over the damaged myelin.