What is MS?

View more videos on the National MS Society’s YouTube channel.


Facts & Figures

  • In the United States today, there are approximately 400,000 people with multiple sclerosis.
  • Worldwide, multiple sclerosis is thought to affect more than 2.1 million people.
  • Multiple sclerosis is five times more prevalent above the 37th parallel.  The Washington-Oregon border is at the 49th parallel.
  • Every hour in the United States, someone is newly diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
  • Although multiple sclerosis occurs in most ethnic groups, it is twice as common in Caucasians of northern European ancestry.
  • Multiple Sclerosis is 2-3 times more common in women than men.
  • Estimates place the annual cost of multiple sclerosis in the United States in the billions of dollars.
  • Approximately 200 people are newly diagnosed with multiple sclerosis every week.
  • There is currently no cure for multiple sclerosis, but medicines may slow it down and help control symptoms.
  • Most people are diagnosed with multiple sclerosis between the ages of 20 and 40.

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