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Blacks & African-Americans

New Study On Vision Impairment

New Study Shows Differences in Visual Impairment and Damage Between African Americans and Caucasians with MS.

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In this article

African Americans and multiple sclerosis

The myth that African Americans do not get MS is just that — a myth. African Americans do get MS. In fact, studies suggest that MS can be especially active. African Americans:
  • are more likely to experience more relapses
  • are more likely to experience greater disability
  • have a greater risk of progressing to require ambulatory assistance earlier
  • are more likely to develop involvement of the optic nerves and spinal cord (optic — spinal MS) and inflammation of the spinal cord (transverse myelitis)

Research and African Americans

Participate in MS genetics studies

Different populations are being studied to learn why some ethnic groups develop MS at higher rates than others. The MS Genetics Group is asking for the donation of a blood samples from African-American individuals with MS and controls without MS. It is not required, but the participation of certain family members is preferred as well. Learn more.

The power of connection

An African proverb says, “When spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion.” This illustrates the power of connecting with others to face life-changing challenges such as MS. Begin building your “web” of support through, Peer Connections, MSFriends, and peer support groups.

Video resources

Living with MS: African American Perspectives

MS and African Americans: Reasons for Hope

MS and African Americans: Diagnosis and Clinical Courses


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