The central nervous system consists of the brain and the spinal cord. MS is an autoimmune disease, which means that the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues. The immune system is designed to defend the body against foreign or dangerous invaders, such as viruses and bacteria.
In MS, the immune system causes damage to the myelin, a protective covering around the nerve cells. When the myelin is damaged, the nerve fibers become exposed and, over time, the damage can lead to the loss of nerve cells, which is also referred to as neurodegeneration.