Autoimmune disease

A disease that causes the body’s own immune system to attack parts of the body. In the case of MS, the immune system attacks the central nervous system.

Axons

Nerve fibres that transmit messages between brain cells and other parts of the body.

Central nervous system - CNS

The CNS consists of the brain and spinal cord.

Disease-Modifying Therapy - DMT

Therapy that slows the progression of a disease.

Immune system

The system your body uses to fight diseases and infections. In MS, it is thought that a hyperactive immune system attacks the body’s own cells.

Inflammation

In MS, inflammation is defined as nerve tissue damage due to the body’s own immune cells attacking the nervous system.

Intramuscular

Into the muscle

Lymphocytes

A type of white blood cell that plays a large role in defending the body against disease.

MRI - Magnetic Resonance Imaging

An MRI is a noninvasive way to take pictures of the body using magnets and radio waves. MRIs are used to detect inflammation in the brain to help assess the severity and progress of MS.

Myelin

A layer of insulation surrounding the axon (also known as a nerve fibre) of a nerve cell that protects the nerve cell and increases the speed of nerve signals.

Neuron

Special nerve cells in your central nervous system that send and receive signals between themselves and with other parts of the body.

Relapses

A relapse of MS (also known as an exacerbation, attack, or flare-up) causes new symptoms or the worsening of old symptoms. Relapses can be very mild or severe enough to interfere with a person’s ability to function at home and at work. No 2 relapses are alike, and symptoms vary from person to person and from one relapse to another. To be a true relapse, the attack must last at least 24 hours and be separated from the previous attack by at least 30 days. Most relapses last from a few days to several weeks or months.

Relapsing-remitting MS

A clinical course of MS that is characterised by clearly defined relapses with full or partial recovery and no disease progression between attacks.

Subcutaneous

Under the skin.

Visual Evoked Potential - VEP

A kind of brain activity that responds to visual stimulation, such as a quick flash of light. MS can slow down the speed of VEPs, so doctors often measure them as part of a test that helps to diagnose MS.

White blood cells

A general term that refers to any of the several types of blood cells that help defend the body from infection.