Basic Summary for Multiple Sclerosis


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Main name of condition: Multiple Sclerosis
Other names or spellings: MS


What is Multiple Sclerosis?
  Brief description of Multiple Sclerosis: Autoimmune attack on spinal nerves causing diverse and varying neural problems.
  Parent types of Multiple Sclerosis: Autoimmune diseases, Sclerosis, Neuromuscular disease, Brain conditions, Demyelinating disorder
  Organs Affected by Multiple Sclerosis: nerves, muscles, brain, spinal cord, myelin
  Types of Multiple Sclerosis: Schilder's Disease
How many people get Multiple Sclerosis?
  Prevalance of Multiple Sclerosis: 1-in-700 (NIAID)
  Prevalance Rate of Multiple Sclerosis: approx 1 in 700 or 0.14% or 388,571 people in USA [about data]
  Prevalance of Multiple Sclerosis: Multiple sclerosis afflicts 1 in 700 people in this country.1
Who gets Multiple Sclerosis?
  Patient Profile for Multiple Sclerosis: Young adults, usually age 20-40.
  Gender Profile for Multiple Sclerosis: Women 2:1 (NWHIC)
How serious is Multiple Sclerosis?
  Prognosis of Multiple Sclerosis: Variable. Ranging from mild to very serious, depending on exactly which nerves are attacked. Average survival is 35 years after diagnosis. A rare form of acute MS can be fatal quickly.
  Prognosis of Multiple Sclerosis: The cause of MS remains elusive, but most people with MS have a normal life expectancy. The vast majority of MS patients are mildly affected, but in the worst cases, MS can render a person unable to write, speak, or walk. 2 ... Most commonly, damage to the central nervous system occurs intermittently, allowing a person to lead a fairly normal life. At the other extreme, the symptoms may become constant, resulting in a progressive disease with possible blindness, paralysis, and premature death.1
  Complications of Multiple Sclerosis: see complications of Multiple Sclerosis
What causes Multiple Sclerosis?
  Cause of Multiple Sclerosis: Autoimmune destruction of myelin that surrounds spinal cord nerves.
  Class of Condition for Multiple Sclerosis: autoimmune
  Causes of Multiple Sclerosis: see causes of Multiple Sclerosis
  Risk factors for Multiple Sclerosis: see risk factors for Multiple Sclerosis
What are the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis?
  Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis: see symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis
Can anyone else get Multiple Sclerosis?
  Contagion of autoimmunity: generally not; see details in contagion of autoimmune diseases.
How is it treated?
  Treatments for Multiple Sclerosis: see treatments for Multiple Sclerosis
  Research for Multiple Sclerosis: see research for Multiple Sclerosis
Society issues for Multiple Sclerosis
  Hospitalization statistics for Multiple Sclerosis: The following are statistics from various sources about hospitalizations and Multiple Sclerosis:
  • 0.129% (16,411) of hospital consultant episodes were for multiple sclerosis in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 90% of hospital consultant episodes for multiple sclerosis required hospital admission in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 31% of hospital consultant episodes for multiple sclerosis were for men in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 69% of hospital consultant episodes for multiple sclerosis were for women in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 23% of hospital consultant episodes for multiple sclerosis required emergency hospital admission in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 13.9 days was the mean length of stay in hospitals for multiple sclerosis in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 4 days was the median length of stay in hospitals for multiple sclerosis in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 46 was the mean age of patients hospitalised for multiple sclerosis in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 86% of hospital consultant episodes for multiple sclerosis occurred in 15-59 year olds in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 2% of hospital consultant episodes for multiple sclerosis occurred in people over 75 in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 37% of hospital consultant episodes for multiple sclerosis were single day episodes in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 0.199% (104,557) of hospital bed days were for multiple sclerosis in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)


Footnotes:
1. excerpt from Understanding Autoimmune Disease: NIAID
2. excerpt from NINDS Multiple Sclerosis Information Page: NINDS

Last revision: June 2, 2003

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