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Living with MS

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People with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) are more likely to be diagnosed in their early adult years, often a vital time for establishing a career and/or starting a family. Their diagnosis will bring the total number of People with MS in Australia alone to over 23,000. Three out of every four people diagnosed are women.

The incidence increases by 4% each year compounding the pressure for research. The total financial cost annually is over $1 billion dollars.

MS is characterised by an attack on myelin, the fatty material that insulates nerves, like the plastic covering over electrical wires. Nerves carry messages from the brain to different parts of the body, just as electrical wires carry electricity. The process during which myelin is removed is called 'demyelination'.

Our bodies have ways to replenish the supply of myelin through a process known as ‘remyelination’. However, over time this process breaks down. A person’s condition degenerates as more myelin is stripped and damaged nerves are unable to transmit messages at all. This slow neurodegeneration is responsible for the progressive increase in disability in People with MS.

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