Multiple Sclerosis

Fact Sheet Compiled by Julie D. Olson, NBCT
EDU 214, Introduction to Special Education
Professor Jen Lara
April 12, 2015


Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a disease in which your immune system attacks the protective sheath (myelin) that covers your nerves. Myelin damage disrupts communication between your brain and the rest of your body. Ultimately, the nerves themselves may deteriorate, a process that's currently irreversible.  (Mayo Clinic Staff)


Individuals with MS experience the disease differently. 
Symptoms vary in appearance and intensity and may include:

1. Bowel/Bladder Control
2. Cognitive Issues
3. Depression
4. Fatigue
5. Muscle Stiffness/Spasms
6. Pain
7. Sexual Issues
8. Vision Problems
9. Walking/Balance Problems
10. Weakness

Causes and Statistics

~  Causes of MS are  unknown. 
~  Experts now believe MS to be an immune 
    disease.  It was previously believed to be an  autoimmune disease.  
~ MS affects more women then men.
~ Onset of MS symptoms typically range between  ages 20 and 40, though     children are sometimes  affected.
~ There is no cure for MS, but symptoms can be addressed with medications, alternative therapies and general wellness practices. 
~ Early diagnosis and treatment are believed to  be the best course of     action.


Frequency of MS in the US

Geographical Risk Increase of Developing MS

Teaching Strategies

~Multiple-choice tests to help with trouble recalling information
~Bathroom pass for bladder control problems
~Frequent breaks for fatigue & difficulty concentrating
~Preferential class seating arrangement for vision problems or attention  deficit
~Reduction in homework for extreme fatigue or  problems with writing
~Providing visuals, copies of notes, word banks  or  sentence stems for students who have trouble with cognitive function

Resources for Families

Current Research

Learn more about recent MS research by watching this video:

Wellness and MS

A March, 2015 article written by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society entitled, "Wellness for People with MS: What do we know about Diet, Exercise and Mood, and what do we still need to learn?"  focused on the following three topics:

1. Diet
- Increase fruits and vegetables
- Choose lean sources of protein
- Choose healthy fats
- Consume adequate fiber and fluid

2. Exercise
- Aerobic
- Resistance Training

3. Mood & Emotional Wellness
- Acupuncture
- Feldenkrais
- Guided imagery
- Hypnotherapy
- Massage
- Meditation
- Mindfulness
- Music therapy
- Prayer and spirituality
- Tai chi
- Yoga
- St. John’s wort
- Adaptive coping and solution-focused coping
- Stress Management

The authors concluded that next steps will be taken to provide MS patients with increased research to support quality of life improvements.

Vitamin D & MS

According to Jerry Swanson, M.D., "The link between vitamin D and MS is strengthened by the association between sunlight and the risk of MS. The farther away from the equator a person lives, the higher the risk of MS. Sunlight is the body's most efficient source for vitamin D — suggesting that exposure to sunlight may offer protection from MS."


      Im-Wang, S., Ehrlich, K., Chabas, D., Crittenden, M., Doyle, M., Julian, L., . . . Waubant, E. (2011, January 1). Managing School-Related Issues: A guide for parents wIth a chIld or teen living with MS S. Retrieved April 12, 2015, from

      Multiple Sclerosis and School Concerns. (n.d.). Retrieved April 12, 2015, from

       Multiple Sclerosis: MedlinePlus. (n.d.). Retrieved April 12, 2015, from

   Multiple sclerosis. (n.d.). Retrieved April 12, 2015, from

       Murray, MD, FRCP(C), OC, D. (2009, January 7). If I Had - Multiple Sclerosis - Dr. Thomas John (Jock) Murray, MD, FRCP(C), OC, Dalhousie University. Retrieved April 12, 2015, from

   (n.d.). Retrieved April 12, 2015, from

         Swanson, M.D., J. (2013, March 30). Vitamin D and MS: Is there any connection? Retrieved April 12, 2015, from

        Wellness for People with MS: What do we know about Diet, Exercise and Mood And what do we still need to learn? (2015, March 1). Retrieved April 12, 2015, from

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