Photo: Man walking with crutch

Risk factors and prevention

No one knows for sure why people get MS. It's likely to be due to a mix of genes, something in your environment and some lifestyle factors.

Evidence shows a number of different things that could contribute to your risk of getting MS or your ability to manage your symptoms.

Close up of open pack of cigarettes


The evidence is clearer than ever: smoking can make your MS worse. We've conducted an evidence review looking at research on smoking and MS. And we worked with Headstrong Thinking to hear from people with MS who smoke.