Multiple Sclerosis Takes Toll on Body and Soul
More than 10,000 people in New York City are living with multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system, according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
It is a disease with a long list of symptoms, an often progressive severity and no cure.
With M.S., a person’s immune system attacks healthy tissue in the brain and spinal cord, eventually damaging nerve fibers. It is “highly unpredictable” and “a very costly disease,” said Arney Rosenblat, a spokeswoman for the society, with treatment costing a family $70,000 a year on average nationally. Typical symptoms include muscle pain and tingling, numbness, cognitive impairment, vision problems and difficulties with balance and walking. Its cause is unknown. Though precise figures can be difficult to determine, and estimated 400,000 people in the United States and 2.3 million worldwide are reported to be living with the disease, Ms. Rosenblat said.
The articles here highlight the increasing toll the disease can take on the once-solid structures of life. They are tales of battles waged on both body and spirit (New York Times, December 21, 2014).