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March: Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month (MS)

What is Multiple Sclerosis?

MS is an autoimmune disease that affects central nervous system, whose origins are still unclear, and which affects the brain, the spinal cord, and optic nerves.

The most common age to be diagnosed with MS is between 20 and 50, although people

of any age can get it. MS is the leading cause of non-traumatic disability in young adults.

What are some symptoms?

It is a silent disease known as the "disease of a thousand faces" because its wide variety

of symptoms appear differently in each person. They include cognitive disfunction,

blurry vision, balance issues, chronic fatigue, and depression.

Is MS in our community?

Researchers used to believe that MS mostly affected white people; however, recent studies

indicate that more Black people have the disease than previously thought. In fact, the rate

among Black Americans is consistent with the rate of MS in white Americans.

Research also shows that MS may affect Black people differently than it does white people.

Black people may face more aggressive progression and greater disability. Additionally,

women are three times more likely to get MS than men.

What can you do?

If MS runs in your family and / or you are experiencing symptoms, please reach out to your

doctor for an evaluation as early as possible. It’s hard to diagnose MS: there’s no single test

that can definitively identify it.

While there is no drug that can cure MS, treatments are available which can modify the course

of the disease.

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