There are nearly 400-thousand people in the United States with Multiple Sclerosis.. and 200 *more people are being diagnosed every week... and now a new study shows several Northern Illinois counties have a higher rate of MS than the national average.
Researchers at UIC College of Medicine in Rockford studied Multiple Sclerosis in our area.. the 13 northwest Illinois counties.. for the past ten months.
Nearly 800 local residents diagnosed with MS were studied based on factors like their age... time since diagnosis... and where they live.
Results shows Multiple Sclerosis tends to affect more women than men... And has a higher prevalence in rural areas.
Scientists are still trying to determine the cause of the disease. But Chief Researcher Joel Cowen says ancestry and agriculture play a strong role in this debilitating disease.
"He can't join me to do things like he did with my sister like college visits he can't go on them.. he can't walk that distance."
"Nationally it's about 2.5 women for every man but we've been well above that in this area. Women especially those of Northern European ancestry should be careful if they experience any of the symptoms."
Muscular weakness and vision problems are common symptoms of MS.