Multiple sclerosis (MS)
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease of unknown aetiology that affects the white matter of the central nervous system (CNS). The symptoms of multiple sclerosis are diverse, depending on the location and size of the CNS inflammatory lesions (plaques). MS is divided into subtypes: relapsing-remitting, secondary progressive and primary progressive. The relapsing-remitting form is the most common. MS is diagnosed on the basis of clinical presentation, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) examination and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Pulse corticosteroid therapy is used to manage acute exacerbations. The first-line disease-modifying agents indicated for long-term therapy are interferon beta and glatiramer acetate. Natalizumab or fingolimod are used in particularly aggressive disease forms. No curative therapy exists as yet. Disease progress is individual. According to current estimations, MS decreases the patient's life expectancy by about 7 years.