ATHENAIS, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ATHENAIS, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Multiple sclerosis (MS). Coloured sagittal (side view) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan through the neck and upper back of a patient with a spinal lesion (yellow, lower left) caused by MS. The front of the body is at left. The spinal cord (brown) runs down the vertebral canal (green) inside the blocks of bone (vertebrae, brown) of the backbone. MS, a chronic disease of the nervous system, affects young and middle-aged adults. The myelin sheaths of nerves are destroyed, producing lesions like this one. The cause is unknown, and, in severe cases, the symptoms are treated with steroids.
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