Multiple sclerosis or MS is a progressive disease that demyelinates the central nervous system, which is compromised of the brain and spinal cord. This chronic disease is broken down to four main recognizable patterns being: relapsing remitting, secondary progressive, primary progressive and progressive relapsing. Throughout these stages, symptoms such as loss of vision, fatigue, numbness/weakness of limbs, mental changes, diplopia, bladder dysfunction, and others are common ailments that victims of MS experience and suffer (Gaby, 2013). Individuals diagnosed with MS do not necessarily suffer from these symptoms and become disabled. However, about 60% of MS victims do experience major complications after 20 years of the diagnoses. Although this is one of the most common neurological disorders, people with MS can live a normal life expectancy with only rare cases being terminal (World Health Organization, 2008). Most MS patients are diagnosed with relapsing remitting stage, because it is the most common form of this disease with a diagnoses rate of 85%. This stage is characterized with attacks and relapses followed by improvements or recovery periods in neurological function. The secondary progressive stage follows the relapse remitting stage as the disease continues to progress. If the disease starts to worsen at the beginning of the diagnoses with only minor improvements, then individuals are diagnosed with primary progressive MS. Approximately 10% of individuals are diagnosed with this form of MS. Progressive relapsing MS is when the disease progresses without any remissions. This is also the least common diagnosed stage of MS (National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 2013).
Globally, the prevalence of this disease is 30 per 100,000 individuals while the incidence rate is 2.5 per 100,000 individuals (World Health Organization, 2008). In total, the approximate estimate of individuals who are diagnosed with MS is around 2.3 million people globally (National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 2013). Europe has the highest rate of MS diagnoses while America had the third highest rate of diagnoses in the world (World Health Organization, 2008). This disease does affect many individuals, but researchers are still unsure of the causes of MS. As of now, researchers are focusing on immunological, environmental, and genetic influences of this disease. Although there are no cures for this disease, there is medicine available to MS victims to help slow the progression of multiple sclerosis (National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 2013).
Demographics/Statistics of Target Population
Multiple sclerosis is a prevalent disease in the United States, but it is also a global disease with the rate of diagnoses increasing. There are approximately 350,000 to 500,000 people in the U.S. who are living with this disease. Every week about 200 individuals are diagnosed with MS in this country showing the extent of occurrence in the population. Most people...