My name is Dr. Mitzi Joi Williams and I am a neurologist and Multiple Sclerosis specialist in Atlanta, Georgia.
Multiple Sclerosis is an autoimmune disease and basically what that means is that the immune system, the part of the body that normally attacks viruses and bacteria gets confused and attacks a good part of the body.
Every autoimmune disease has a different target and the target with ms is the coding of the nerves, which is a substance called Myelin. When Myelin is attacked, it damages the nerves so that the signals don’t run properly and results in the symptoms that we see from multiple sclerosis, some of which can be numbness and tingling. Sometimes people have weakness or sometimes they have vision loss. The symptoms depend on the areas that are damaged by the immune system.
There are multiple different people who are at risk for multiple sclerosis. There is no one test that we can do to determine if someone has ms or not, but there are several things that we know increase the risk. People who live in certain parts of the world have a higher risk for Ms. So, for instance, if we look at locations that are very close to the equator, we don’t see a lot of ms in those areas.