MS is a disease that affects the myelin, which is the insulation or the coating of the nerves in the central nervous system, in the brain, and the spinal cord. Not only is the myelin affected, but there's also damage to the nerve fibers themselves, the axons. Analogous to that the wire is damaged as well as the insulation to the wire, so it's not just the shorting out, which actually, if you look in some of the brochures, they'll still talk about shorting out, short circuit. If it were that simple, it would be a lot easier just to replace the myelin, replace the coating, and have the circuit working again, but when the wire is cut and the wire is damaged, it makes it much more difficult.
What does MS do? It affects weakness, it causes weakness, it affects sensation, it affects the bladder. It affects vision, and can cause partial or total blindness. Many of these symptoms will come and go in the early stages of the disease, so-called relapses and remissions.
MS affects thinking. It affects emotions. That to me is perhaps, in many ways, the most important part of MS. We see patients who have spinal cord injury, and they can function in a wheelchair. They don't have problems in thinking and memory and emotions that people with MS do. People with MS have known forever that sometimes they have bad days, terrible days. Loved ones living with them know that they have times when they're just not right. Patients with MS will forget things. They will go into the market and get the wrong stuff or forget what they went in for, and then it may get better. So, there's always been an awareness by the patient there's something wrong, and we just never talked about it.
MS is a disease where right now we have more ability to prevent it or slow it down than correct the damage that has been done because once a wire is cut, it's very difficult to put the wire back in the central nervous system.
There's a degenerative component to this dise...