TORONTO - A Toronto hospital says it plans to create the world's leading treatment and research centre for multiple sclerosis.

St. Michael's Hospital says the BARLO MS Centre will occupy the entire top two floors -- about 2,300 square metres -- of a 17-storey tower under construction at the downtown Toronto facility.

The hospital says it already has the largest multiple sclerosis clinic in Canada, with about 7,000 patients, and is home to some of the world's leading MS clinicians and researchers.

The $30-million BARLO MS Centre is expected to open in 2020 and focus on patient-centred, personalized care and applying and generating leading-edge research.

MS is an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system that can cause symptoms such as extreme fatigue, lack of co-ordination, weakness, tingling, impaired sensation, vision problems, bladder problems, cognitive impairment and mood changes.

It is known as "Canada's disease" because the country has the highest prevalence of the neurological disease in the world, with one in every 340 Canadians living with MS. It affects three times as many women as men.