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Facts About MS

More than 400,000 people in the United States have MS.

An estimated 2,500,000 around the world have MS.

About 45 percent of the people with MS are not severely affected by the disease.

Diagnosis of MS is usually between 20 and 40 years of age.

MS affects more women than men, with a ratio of 2:1.

About 85 percent of those who are newly diagnosed have the relapsing-remitting form of MS.

Without disease-modifying therapy, about 50 percent of those diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS will become progressive at 10 years.

Without disease-modifying therapy, about one-third of those diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS will be using a wheelchair at 20 years.

MS does not significantly affect life span.

The course of the disease is unpredictable and no two people will experience the same set of symptoms.

There are four types of MS:  relapsing-remitting, secondary-progressive, primary progressive and progressive relapsing.

Among young adults, MS is the most common disease of the central nervous system.

Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of MS.

MS is not contagious.

MS is a progressive disease for which there is not yet a cure.

Increased understanding of MS has led to the development of many new treatments that target both the disease process and its many symptoms.

In countries further from the equator, the incidence of MS increases.

Sclerosis is a Greek word meaning hardening of tissue or scars.

MS is not inherited or genetically transmitted, although there does seem to be some genetic susceptibility to the disease.

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Unless otherwise specified, all medical content is compiled by MSF staff and reviewed for accuracy by a member of our Medical Advisory Board.

The MSF strives to present clear and unbiased information. This site is partially funded through a grant from Bayer Healthcare, LLC.

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