Multiple sclerosis (MS)
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society says of MS that it is "a disease that randomly attacks your central nervous system, wearing away the control you have over your body. Symptoms may range from numbness to paralysis and blindness. The progress, severity and specific symptoms cannot be foreseen. You never know when attacks will occur, how long they will last, or how severe they will be. Most people are diagnosed with MS between the ages of 20 and 40...." In medical terms, MS involves demyelinization of the white matter sometimes extending into the gray matter. Demyelinization is loss of myelin, the coating of nerve fibers composed of lipids (fats) and protein that serves as insulation and permits efficient nerve fiber conduction. The "white matter" is the part of the brain which contains myelinated nerve fibers and appears white, whereas the gray matter is the cortex of the brain which contains nerve cell bodies and appears gray. When myelin is damaged in MS, nerve fiber conduction is faulty or absent. Impaired bodily functions or altered sensations associated with those demyelinated nerve fibers give rise to the symptoms of MS. Recent research

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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  • multiple sclerosis — Sclerosis Scle*ro sis, n. [NL., fr. Gr. (??, fr. sklhro s hard.] 1. (Med.) Induration; hardening; especially, that form of induration produced in an organ by increase of its interstitial connective tissue. [1913 Webster] 2. (Bot.) Hardening of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • multiple sclerosis — Sclerosis Scle*ro sis, n. [NL., fr. Gr. (??, fr. sklhro s hard.] 1. (Med.) Induration; hardening; especially, that form of induration produced in an organ by increase of its interstitial connective tissue. [1913 Webster] 2. (Bot.) Hardening of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • multiple sclerosis — n a demyelinating disease marked by patches of hardened tissue in the brain or the spinal cord and associated esp. with partial or complete paralysis and jerking muscle tremor * * * (MS, disseminated sclerosis) a chronic disease of the nervous… …   Medical dictionary

  • multiple sclerosis — multiple scle rosis noun uncount a serious illness affecting the nerve cells of the brain and SPINE that gradually makes it difficult for someone to move, speak, or see. Multiple sclerosis is often simply called MS …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • multiple sclerosis — first attested 1877; so called because it occurs in patches …   Etymology dictionary

  • multiple sclerosis — n. a chronic disease in which there is scattered demyelination of the central nervous system: it may result in speech defects, loss of muscular coordination, etc …   English World dictionary

  • multiple sclerosis — noun a chronic progressive nervous disorder involving loss of myelin sheath around certain nerve fibers (Freq. 2) • Syn: ↑MS, ↑disseminated sclerosis, ↑disseminated multiple sclerosis • Hypernyms: ↑sclerosis, ↑induration, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • multiple sclerosis — [[t]mʌ̱ltɪp(ə)l skləro͟ʊsɪs[/t]] N UNCOUNT Multiple sclerosis is a serious disease of the nervous system, which gradually makes a person weaker, and sometimes affects their sight or speech. The abbreviation MS is also used …   English dictionary

  • multiple sclerosis — UK / US noun [uncountable] medical a serious illness affecting the nerve cells of the brain and spine that gradually makes it difficult for someone to move, speak, or see. Multiple sclerosis is often simply called MS …   English dictionary

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