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.

Commonly, multiple sclerosis symptoms come on in attacks which affect one or more parts of the nervous system. These attacks last a variable amount of time and in the most common types of MS will then slowly recover. Each new attack of MS can vary in the parts of the nervous system that is affected and, therefore, the associated symptoms.

While the exhaustive list of possible symptoms of MS is long, there are some common types of symptoms which can affect many patients at one time or another. Again, the specifics of these symptoms, their location in the body, their severity and their duration varies considerably from one patient to the next.

Types of Possible MS Symptoms

  • Sensory: Including numbness, tingling, and pain.
  • Motor: Including weakness in one or more limbs, spasticity and muscle spasm, tremors, facial paralysis, etc.
  • Coordination and Balance: Including lack of fine motor or gross motor coordination, clumsiness, loss of balance and falls, difficulty walking, etc.
  • Vision: Blurred or double vision, blindness, loss of vision in part of the visual field, etc.
  • Speech: Such as slurred speech.
  • Non-Specific Symptoms: Various other symptoms are possible such as fatigue (quite common), heat sensitivity, dizziness, impaired thinking, etc.

The progression of these types of symptoms and the course of the disease throughout a patient's life can vary quite considerably as there are many different types of multiple sclerosis.

Unfortunately, many of the symptoms associated with multiple sclerosis can be caused by many different nervous system diseases. Therefore, diagnosis of MS can sometimes be difficult. However, while any one attack of MS may have several potential causes, a thorough work-up can lead to the correct diagnosis.



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Important Note: This site is not intended to offer medical advice. Every patient is different, and only your personal physician can help to counsel you about what is best for your situation. What we offer is general reference information about various disorders and treatments for your education.

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