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Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a progressive disease that occurs when the immune system damages the protective layer of myelin that covers nerves fibers in the brain and spinal cord. MS damage interrupts or blocks communication between the nerves within the central nervous system (brain and spine).
At Dignity Health Southern California, neurologists and staff are focused on providing comprehensive care with humankindness. We offer personalized neurology services for a full range of neurological disorders, including multiple sclerosis, in Southern California. To make an appointment to begin a specialized treatment plan, use our online Find a Doctor tool.
Signs and symptoms of multiple sclerosis vary between individuals. Generally, MS causes symptoms such as:
Multiple sclerosis is the result of damage to the the myelin sheath that acts as insulation surrounding nerve tissue. In people with MS, the immune system causes the the myelin sheath coating the nerves in the brain and spine to break down in many places. This damage inhibits the ability of the affected nerves to transmit or receive impulses (messages) to and from the brain. The inability of the nerves to communicate effectively causes symptoms that vary depending on which nerves are affected.
Researchers know that the cause of MS involves the immune system, but the exact cause is unknown. MS occurs most often in Caucasian families, but it can occur in people of any ethnicity. The incidence of MS is higher in people with a parent or sibling who has the disease. Exposure to environmental factors or certain infections may also increase the risk of developing MS.
Our advanced treatment efforts for multiple sclerosis focus on managing symptoms, slowing the progression of myelin sheath damage, and improving quality of life. As MS requires comprehensive care from a diverse team of Dignity Health Southern California specialists, you may be treated by:
MS treatment options include physical and occupational rehabilitation, medications, and treatment of mood and cognitive issues. See our experts today to find a treatment that relieves your symptoms — your well-being is our priority.