Multiple Sclerosis Home > Early Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis

In most cases, early symptoms of multiple sclerosis typically occur in adults between the ages of 20 and 40. Common early symptoms include muscle weakness, loss of balance, and blurred or double vision. In the majority of patients with multiple sclerosis, complete or partial remission of symptoms tends to occur during the early stages of the disease.

Early Signs and Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis: An Overview

The early symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS) and how severe they are vary from person to person. A person's symptoms will depend on how much myelin has been lost from the nerves and what parts of the central nervous system are affected.
Most people experience their first symptoms of multiple sclerosis between the ages of 20 and 40. Although doctors have documented cases of MS in young children and elderly adults, early symptoms of multiple sclerosis rarely begin before age 15 or after age 60.
Depending on the area of the nervous system affected, the symptoms of multiple sclerosis may be mild or severe, brief or long lasting, and may appear in various combinations. Complete or partial remission of multiple sclerosis symptoms, especially in the early stages of the disease, occurs in approximately 70 percent of those with MS.

Specific Early Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms

In the early stages of MS, people can often experience the following symptoms:
  • Muscle weakness
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Loss of balance
  • Blurred or double vision and/or eye pain.
Usually, these early multiple sclerosis symptoms come and go unpredictably. The times when a person is having multiple sclerosis symptoms are called episodes, or MS attacks. The episodes may last a few days or for weeks at a time.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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