Around 2.8 million people worldwide are affected by multiple sclerosis (MS), including actress Selma Blair (pictured above), who made her diagnosis public in 2018 and has since raised public awareness with her fight against the progressive but incurable autoimmune disease.
There are around 13,500 people affected in Austria, and 450 people are diagnosed each year. The progressive autoimmune disease leads to inflammation at various points in the brain and spinal cord, which leads to damage to nerve fibers and consequently to functional impairments.
Multiple sclerosis is considered to be the “disease with a thousand faces” – it proceeds very differently, there is no typical MS. Sick people often suffer from numbness or tingling in the arms or legs, extreme exhaustion, gait and balance disorders and visual disturbances up to paralysis. The disease progresses in a relapsing manner and usually begins between the ages of 20 and 40.