Multiple sclerosis is the most common disabling disease of young people, affecting 350,000 to 500,000 individuals in the United States. Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease, causing inflammation, myelin breakdown, and loss of axons in the central nervous system. Depending on the location of the lesion within the brain or spinal cord, it may present with a variety of neurologic symptoms. Symptoms may relapse and remit; however, typically healing is incomplete after an attack, producing permanent disability. Early treatment of the disease may reduce the development of disability. Early diagnosis is a crucial first step in identifying patients with the disease. Family practitioners, as the first line of contact for most patients, play a pivotal role in facilitating early diagnosis and early treatment.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)