Multiple sclerosis is a slowly progressive disease of the central nervous system affecting at least 300,000 young Americans. This results from multiple areas of damage or destruction of the protective covering (demyelination) of nerve fibers. Each nerve is covered by a protective myelin coating. The myelin is much like the insulation covering an electrical wire. If it is damaged or partially stripped away, an electrical signal cannot be transmitted without being interrupted. With nerves, the interruption of the impulse causes symptoms such as numbness, tingling, or weakness in the extremities; dizziness; unsteady gait; changes in vision; and difficulty with speech.
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