In MS, the body’s immune system attacks and damages the brain, spinal cord and optic nerve. This damage can cause physical disability, fatigue and cognitive problems such as concentration, memory and learning difficulties.
The good news is that the brain is very good at being able to adapt. In MS, when an area of the brain is damaged, it can use other parts of the brain to compensate.1 This ability of the brain to adapt is known as neurological reserve, and the more neurological reserve the brain has, the healthier it is.1
Sometimes the brain will be using up its neurological reserve without you knowing, as it compensates for lesions that don’t cause noticeable symptoms.1 If a brain uses up all of its neurological reserve, it can’t recruit new areas of the brain and the symptoms of MS are more likely to progress.1
It is therefore important to keep your brain as healthy as possible. The best ways to do this are:1