of scientists are undertaking research into all aspects of MS,
furthering our understanding of the disease and how to treat and manage
MS is an exceptionally difficult disease to research for a number of reasons:
cause is unknown, though it is generally believed to be a combination
of genetic, immunological and environmental factors. However, because it
often takes many years for someone to be diagnosed, and because there
are so many variables, it has so far been impossible to determine a
specific cause or trigger.
effects are within two of the most inaccessible parts of the body, the
brain and spinal cord. It is only since the advent of MRI, in the early
1980s, that scientists have actually been able to view the actual
lesions within the brain and spinal cord.
is no single pattern to the disease and the course of the disease is
unpredictable. The number and position of lesions on a patient's central
nervous system does not necessarily correlate with their relapse
occurrence or level of disability. There are no definitive tests for the
all the above reasons it is difficult to scientifically compare
people's experiences. To research disease patterns and the effectiveness
of new treatments, extensive placebo-controlled clinical trials are
these difficulties, a wide range of research is taking place by
thousands of scientists and researchers around the world. Found out more
about the main areas of MS research.