Multiple sclerosis is a chronic, often debilitating disease that attacks the body’s central nervous system. According to the Mayo Clinic, with this disease the immune system eats away at the myelin that covers the nerves. Once this myelin is damaged, it can cause communication issues between the brain, spinal cord and other areas of the body, which can affect everything from the ability to walk to the ability to speak clearly.
At this point, while there are treatment options for multiple sclerosis, there is no cure. Scientists are not even 100 percent sure what causes the disease.
A study was recently released, which found the number of people in the world with multiple sclerosis doubled by 10 percent in the past five years. Now, there are 2.3 million people in the world living with the disease.
Some continents have higher incidences of multiple sclerosis than others. North American tops the list with 140 cases per 100,000 people. Europe comes in second with 108 cases per 100,000 people.
In looking at the difference in rates, scientists believe exposure to sunlight may play a role, with the more sunlight the lower the incidence of multiple sclerosis.
In talking about multiple sclerosis, it is important to keep in mind symptoms are not always constant. Instead, some may experience debilitating symptoms followed by periods of remission or minor symptoms. For many, this ebb and flow can make life difficult in terms of working, but can also make filing a disability claim challenging.
This is where an attorney with experience handling Social Security disability insurance for those with multiple sclerosis can step in. This attorney can help document the effects of the disease in order to build a strong case for why someone should receive disability.
Source: Reuters, “Multiple sclerosis cases hit 2.3 million worldwide,” Ben Hirschler, Oct. 1, 2013