Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms

Generalizing multiple sclerosis symptoms can be difficult because it can affect each patient differently. Because multiple sclerosis can cause demyelination of nerve fibers in any part of the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) the variety of types of symptoms which can occur is great. In theory, just about any normal function of the central nervous system can become dysfunctional if affected by multiple sclerosis and lead to related symptoms of nervous system function.

See your GP if you're worried you might have early signs of MS. The symptoms can be similar to several other conditions, so they're not necessarily caused by MS. 

Multiple sclerosis is a disease that affects the nervous system. This condition is caused by the immune system attacking a vital component of the brain known as myelin. The myelin helps to convey signals between the neurons. Damage to the myelin causes impairment of the part of the brain involved. This results in a variety of symptoms, depending on the specific area of the brain that is involved. Multiple sclerosis is a progressive disease, and there is no known cure for it.

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

The type of relapsing multiple sclerosis symptoms and signs you experience may depend on where lesions form. For example, where lesions form in one part of the brain may cause dizziness. Similarly, where lesions form in the spinal cord may cause weakness, while where they form in the optic nerve may cause blurred vision.

This article was originally published on The Conversation .

An estimated 400,000 Americans are currently living with multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune cells attack a fatty substance called myelin in the nerves. Common symptoms are gait and balance disorders, cognitive dysfunction, fatigue, pain and muscle spasticity.

Wiki info

A person with MS can have almost any neurological symptom or sign, with autonomic, visual, motor, and sensory problems being the most common. The specific symptoms are determined by the locations of the lesions within the nervous system, and may include loss of sensitivity or changes in sensation such as tingling, pins and needles or numbness, muscle weakness, blurred vision, very pronounced reflexes, muscle spasms, or difficulty in moving; difficulties with coordination and balance (ataxia); problems with speech or swallowing, visual problems (nystagmus, optic neuritis or double vision), feeling tired, acute or chronic pain, and bladder and bowel difficulties, among others. Difficulties thinking and emotional problems such as depression or unstable mood are also common. Uhthoff's phenomenon, a worsening of symptoms due to exposure to higher than usual temperatures, and Lhermitte's sign, an electrical sensation that runs down the back when bending the neck, are particularly characteristic of MS. The main measure of disability and severity is the expanded disability status scale (EDSS), with other measures such as the multiple sclerosis functional composite being increasingly used in research.

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