Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic condition of the central nervous system, which includes the brain. Experts have long known that MS affects white matter in the brain, but recent research suggests that it affects gray matter, too.

Early and consistent treatment may help limit the effects of MS on the brain and other areas of the body. In turn, this may reduce or prevent symptoms.

Read on to learn more about the different types of brain tissue and how MS can affect them.

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The takeaway

MS can damage white and gray matter in the brain. Over time, this can cause physical and cognitive symptoms — but early treatment may make a difference.

Disease-modifying therapies may help limit the damage caused by MS. Many medications and other treatments are also available to treat symptoms of the condition. Talk to your doctor to learn more about the potential effects of MS, as well as your treatment options.