Multiple Sclerosis


Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune neurological disease that causes the destruction of myelin, the protective sheath of the nerve fibres in the brain and spinal cord.

In sudden or gradual steps, MS results in permanent, disabling sequelae affecting motor skills, sensitivity, vision and sphincter control.



These disorders affect the personal, professional and social lives of patients and their families.

To date, MS remains an incurable disease, the causes of which are poorly understood. However, therapeutic progress contributes to a real improvement in the quality of life of patients, making their life projects possible (marriage, children, work, leisure, etc.).

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease. This means that it is caused by the individual's own immune defence system, which normally acts to defend the body against bacterial or viral attacks.

Myelin is used to isolate and protect nerve fibres, such as plastic around electrical wires.


MS was first described in 1868 by Jean-Martin Charcot.


It usually begins between the ages of 20 and 40, but it can also affect children or older people. Women are three times more affected than men.


Symptoms change over time and vary from person to person:

  • Depression,
  • Tiredness,
  • Motor, visual, sensory and psychological disorders.


The classic form of multiple sclerosis can have three different evolutionary modes:

  •  Recurrent-repeat form : exacerbations alternating with remissions in which partial or total recovery or stability of symptoms is observed.
    Remissions can last months or years.
    Exacerbations can occur spontaneously or be triggered by an infection such as influenza.
  •  Primary progressive form : the disease progresses gradually without remission, but there may be temporary trays during which the disease does not progress. Contrary to the cyclical trend, there are no clear exacerbations.
  •  Secondary progressive form : this form begins with relapses alternating with remissions, followed by gradual progression of the disease.


MS begins on average at age 30. The cause of the disease is not yet known and there are probably several factors causing its onset, including genetic, environmental or infectious factors.  

MS slightly reduces life expectancy. On the other hand, it can be highly debilitating and thus alter the quality of life of individuals.

In France, MS affects about one in 650 people, or between 80,000 and 120,000 people, including 5,000 new cases each year.  

There is currently no cure for MS. The so-called disease-modifying treatments act on the progression of the disease by reducing the frequency of relapses and delaying the progression of the disability.

Women are 3 times more affected than men.