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The Multiple Sclerosis International Federation (MSIF, formerly IFMSS) is an international non-profit federation of 42 national multiple sclerosis societies throughout the world. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a progressive disease characterized by loss of myelin from nerve fibers within the brain and spinal cord (central nervous system). Myelin is a fatty substance that forms a protective, insulating sheath around certain nerve fibers, serving as an electrical insulator. The severity of MS may vary from case to case. Associated symptoms may include numbness, tingling, weakness, incoordination, visual abnormalities, and speech disturbances. Established in 1967, MSIF links the work of national MS societies worldwide. It is committed to working together and with the international research community to eliminate MS and its devastating effects. It also speaks out on a global level for those affected by MS. Its priorities are: stimulating global research; stimulating the active exchange of information; and providing support for the development of new and existing MS societies. The federation's ultimate goal is helping to eradicate multiple sclerosis. The federation also conducts international conferences, provides educational publications on various aspects of MS, and maintains a web site that offers understandable information on MS in several different languages.
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