What is MS?

A disease of the central nervous system, Multiple Sclerosis (MS) primarily strikes young adults ages 20-40. With MS, the patient’s white blood cells attack the myelin, which insulates and conducts messages between the brain, spinal cord and the rest of the body, causing inflammation, eventual scarring and possible nerve destruction. The message is either partially or totally interrupted, resulting in one or more of these symptoms: Numbness, tingling, pain, loss of balance/coordination, problems with memory and cognition, depression, inability to function in heat, vision problems, choking and swallowing, hearing difficulties and bowel and bladder weaknesses.

Types of MS:

  • Relapsing-Remitting MS (RRMS) symptoms come and go. Relapses are temporary periods when the disease is “active”. These periods may be referred to as flare ups or exacerbations and typically last a few days to months.
  • Secondary-Progressive MS (SPMS) symptoms steadily worsen with or without relapses and remissions.
  • Primary Progressive MS (PPMS) is rare and found in about 10% of the MS population. Symptoms slowly but continually worsen from the onset.
  • Progressive-Relapsing MS (PRMS) is rare and affects about 5% of the MS population. Symptoms are steadily worsening of the disease with acute relapses with or without recovery.

How is MS Diagnosed?

  • MPH (Medical and Physical History)
  • MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)
  • ERTS (Evoked Response Tests)
  • Spinal Tap (Lumbar Puncture)
  • CSF Collection (Cerebrospinal Fluid Collections)

Treatment Options:

There is no cure. Medical advancements offer options from naturopathic symptom management to conventional approaches.

A message from the MSSP:

A diagnosis of MS can be frightening. It’s at these times you need someone to help you navigate the road ahead, moment by moment. That's where the MSSP comes in to provide comfort and support.

The following links are offered as a service to the MS community. The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Portland Oregon, Inc. does not endorse or recommend the methods of treatment, therapy, medications, or products on these sites or any sites linked to MSSP’s Internet site. As always, consult with your doctor when considering a change in your treatment regimen.

Resources for treatments and information:

Disease Modifying Drugs

Symptom Management

Bladder Problems

Bowel Dysfunction


Dizziness and Vertigo

Emotional Changes




Sexual Problems



Walking (Gait) Difficulties

Other Links of Interest...

Pacific Medical Training "The Nervous System"


Adult-Care.Org's passion is to improve the quality of long-term adult care and consumer access to information through a convenient, comprehensive, and interactive system designed to help you make the right decision for your loved ones:

CaringBridge is a nonprofit offering many ways for people to care for each other during any type of health event:
Caring Bridge

"Regain your independence and enjoy mobility again! Our mission is to provide trained Collies to assist people living with balance and mobility challenges caused by Multiple Sclerosis. Since 1990, our collies have provided assistance with mobility and balance – allowing their partners to conserve energy while increasing their independence and safety. Kings Valley Collies of Philomath, Oregon: confident affectionate companions, trustworthy, capable partners”
Kings Valley Collies