Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disorder of the central nervous system that results in inflammation, demyelination and axonal damage. It affects both white and gray matter of the brain, spinal cord, optic nerves and cerebellum. This can cause serious disability due to its effect on movement, sensation and cognition. It is one of the most common causes of neurological disability in young adults between 20-40 years old.
The exact cause of MS is unknown; however, it appears to involve an autoimmune attack by T-cells against myelin basic protein (MBP). In response to this attack inflammatory mediators such as cytokines are released causing further damage to myelin sheath surrounding axons which disrupts nerve impulses conduction resulting in neurological symptoms. The disruption can be focal or diffuse involving white and gray matter thus creating lesions that lead to long term neurologic deficits if untreated. Additionally impaired blood brain barrier has been reported as another factor leading to inflammation and damage contributing for development of MS symptoms.