Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a lifelong condition which directly affects the spinal cord and the brain. Thus symptoms most likely include problems with balance, sensation and vision. MS is most likely diagnosed in one’s 20’s, 30’s or 40’s and in most cases it leads to severe disability (NHS, 2022). 

Causes of MS

Ms is considered to be an autoimmune disorder because in these cases one’s own body attacks the brain and spinal cord. Damage to the myelin sheets, which serve as a  protection to the nerves delays or disrupts messages passing through these nerves. The exact cause of why this happens is unknown, however, it is thought to be linked to genetic and environmental factors (NHS, 2022). Additionally, lack of vitamin D and sunlight, smoking, obesity and viral infections responsible for glandular fever are being linked to MS. Nevertheless, there is not enough research to conclude the exact cause of MS and whether this autoimmune disorder can be prevented (NHS, 2022). 

MS symptoms

Similar to other conditions, the symptoms of MS vary and can progress over time. The main symptoms include vision problems, numbness, problems with balance and coordination, difficulty walking, fatigue, muscle stiffness, problems with one’s cognitive ability and incontinence (NHS, 2022). Furthermore, those diagnosed with MS also experience depression and anxiety later on. Nonetheless, it is unknown whether this results from the condition itself or from the stress of being diagnosed with a lifelong condition (NHS, 2022). 

Types of Ms 

There are two main types of MS: relapsing-remitting MS and primary progressive MS. 

Relapsing-remitting MS: This is the most common type of MS where individuals experience relapses which are characterized by episodes of worsening symptoms over a period of time. These symptoms then improve slowly over a similar period of time. Relapses are attributed to periods of stress or illness and periods between relapses can be up to a year. Most individuals with relapsing-remitting MS progress to secondary progressive MS. This is then characterized by worsening symptoms without obvious relapse periods (NHS, 2022). 

Primary progressive MS; In this type of MS, symptoms begin and they get gradually worse. Although there are no remission periods, patients with primary progressive MS report periods where their symptoms seem to be stable (NHS, 2022). 

Treatment for MS

Treatment for multiple sclerosis can be divided into 3 sections; treating relapses, treating the symptoms that develop due to MS and treatment to prevent relapses (NHS, 2022). 

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Yasmine Bonnici graduated in Nursing and also completed her Masters in Counselling. She has worked with victims of domestic violence, clients dealing with suicidal ideations, bereavement, separation and anxieties. She is currently working with Willingness Team as a counsellor seeing clients who would like to explore their own identity and deal with any surfacing issues.


Multiple Sclerosis (2022) NHS choices. NHS. Available at: multiple-sclerosis/ (Accessed: April 11, 2023).