Sixty percent of those with multiple sclerosis face permanent disabilityJack Osborne, reality TV star and son of Ozzy and red-headed, canine-loving "America's Got Talent" reality show judge Sharon, recently received some devastating news. Last week, Jack was diagnosed with MS (Multiple Sclerosis). At only 26-years-of age, this brand-new dad has already experienced some of the uncompromising symptoms of this degenerative disease, losing over 60 percent of the vision in his right eye. Even though Jack and his family are staying brave though it all, the long-reaching and lasting effects of this disease are nothing short of frightening.
What is MS?
The Multiple Sclerosis Foundation estimates that more than 400,000 people in the US currently have MS. Multiple sclerosis is the most common disease of the central nervous system. The disease attacks and destroys layers of nerves design to separate the brain from the spinal cord, and eventually stops vital central nervous system impulses from being carried throughout the body. While not contagious, this disease is both degenerative and progressive.
What Causes MS?
While a scientific consensus has not yet been reached regarding the origin of MS, many leading experts attribute an increased risk of MS to abnormal immune system responses, vitamin D deficiency, prolonged, intense exposure to certain viruses and bacteria and genetic predisposition.
Early Detection and Treatment is Crucial
While there is no cure for MS today, disease-modifying therapies can slow symptom progression. It is estimated that over one-third of the individuals diagnosed with MS will be in a wheelchair in less than 20 years without such modification.
Early detection is a gigantic part of the treatment equation, however. WebMD provides a comprehensive early symptom checklist. If you or a loved one is experiencing these symptoms, it's vital to be tested sooner rather than later.
For more information about MS, or to make a donation for finding a cure, please visit the MS Cure Fund.