Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

  • Medical Author:
    Danette C. Taylor, DO, MS, FACN

    Dr. Taylor has a passion for treating patients as individuals. In practice since 1994, she has a wide range of experience in treating patients with many types of movement disorders and dementias. In addition to patient care, she is actively involved in the training of residents and medical students, and has been both primary and secondary investigator in numerous research studies through the years. She is a Clinical Assistant Professor at Michigan State University's College of Osteopathic Medicine (Department of Neurology and Ophthalmology). She graduated with a BS degree from Alma College, and an MS (biomechanics) from Michigan State University. She received her medical degree from Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine. Her internship and residency were completed at Botsford General Hospital. Additionally, she completed a fellowship in movement disorders with Dr. Peter LeWitt. She has been named a fellow of the American College of Neuropsychiatrists. She is board-certified in neurology by the American Osteopathic Board of Neurology and Psychiatry. She has authored several articles and lectured extensively; she continues to write questions for two national medical boards. Dr. Taylor is a member of the Medical and Scientific Advisory Council (MSAC) of the Alzheimer's Association of Michigan, and is a reviewer for the journal Clinical Neuropharmacology.

  • Medical Editor: Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

Quick GuideMultiple Sclerosis Pictures Slideshow: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Multiple Sclerosis Pictures Slideshow: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

What are the risk factors for developing multiple sclerosis?

  • Multiple sclerosis occurs predominantly in younger persons, with those aged 15 to 60 most likely to be diagnosed. The average age of diagnosis is about 30 years; however, multiple sclerosis has been identified at all ages. While multiple sclerosis can occur in children, this is very rare.
  • About 2.5 million people worldwide have been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis; of those, about 400,000 live in the United States. Women are about twice as likely as men to develop multiple sclerosis.
  • Genetic factors don't seem to play a large role in multiple sclerosis. Although people who have a first-degree relative with MS have a slightly higher risk of developing MS themselves, this risk is felt to be modest.
  • People who live in northern latitudes (especially Northern European countries) were previously identified as having a higher incidence of MS. However, over the past 30 years, this has begun to change and more cases of multiple sclerosis are now diagnosed in more temperate regions such as Latin America. It has further been identified that living in an area until approximately age 15 seems to give someone the relative risk of developing multiple sclerosis for that area. Persons younger than 15 who move assume the risk of the new location.

Lifestyle factors, for example,diet, exercise, tobacco use are not risk factors for developing multiple sclerosis, unlike conditions in which these risk factors are very important, such as stroke, heart disease, or diabetes. Continue Reading

Reviewed on 3/23/2016

National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Compston, A. and A. Coles. "Multiple sclerosis." Lancet 372.9648 (2008): 1502-1517.

Nicholas, J. A., et al. "Multiple sclerosis: Five new things." Neurology: Clinical Practice 3.5 (2013): 404-412. The End for CCSVI.


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