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Just Diagnosed with MS? Answers to 7 Common Questions

By Kerry Weiss
Reviewed by Adam Kaplin, M.D.
September 16, 2022

Receiving a multiple sclerosis (MS) diagnosis can bring on a variety of emotions—it can be a relief to have an explanation for your symptoms, but you may also feel shock, anger, fear, or even denial. You may grieve for your life before the diagnosis and the loss of your perception of yourself as healthy. And you’ll likely have a lot of questions about your MS diagnosis.

Of course, you’ll likely want to ask your doctor many specific questions you may have, but there are some common questions about MS that we can help you with. Knowing the answers can help you get a better understanding of the disease and how to manage it, which in turn, may help lessen anxiety over the unknown.

1. What Happens with MS?

Simply put, multiple sclerosis occurs when the immune system misfires and launches an attack on the neurons of the central nervous system, which includes your brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. This leads to inflammation that damages myelin, the protective layer that surrounds the cables (called axons) connecting one neuron to another.