National Multiple Sclerosis Society
Learning all you can about MS will help you partner with your healthcare team to evaluate your treatment options, manage your symptoms, and enhance your overall health and quality of life.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) involves an immune-mediated process in which an abnormal response of the body’s immune system is directed against the central nervous system (CNS), which is made up of the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves. The exact antigen — or target that the immune cells are sensitized to attack — remains unknown, which is why MS is considered by many experts to be "immune-mediated" rather than "autoimmune."
Myelin – the protective coating around nerve fibers in the central nervous system – is a primary target of the immune attack in MS.
MS is considered to be an immune-mediated disease in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks myelin in the central nervous system.
In MS, immune system T cells pass from the bloodstream into the central nervous system to attack the myelin coating around nerve fibers.
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