Multiple Sclerosis Home > Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms
Multiple sclerosis symptoms most frequently appear between the ages of 20 and 40. Some of the early symptoms include blurry vision or numbness and tingling. There are several other symptoms of multiple sclerosis that may or may not appear -- this depends on which areas of the central nervous system have been affected by the disease.
Most people experience their first multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms between the ages of 20 and 40. Although scientists have documented cases of MS in young children and elderly adults, symptoms rarely begin before age 15 or after age 60.
Often, the first symptoms of multiple sclerosis are vague feelings of weakness, clumsiness, or exhaustion. Other early symptoms may include blurry vision or one or more areas of the skin feeling numb and tingly.
Usually these symptoms come and go unpredictably. The times when a person has symptoms of multiple sclerosis are called episodes or MS attacks. The episodes may last for a few days or weeks at a time.
Other possible multiple sclerosis symptoms include:
- Double vision
- Weakness of the arms and legs
- Muscle stiffness
- Loss of bladder control
- Memory loss.
The times between episodes (when a person is not having multiple sclerosis symptoms) are called remissions. Many people with multiple sclerosis are able to function quite normally between episodes.
The symptoms that a person experiences -- and the severity of these symptoms -- will vary from person to person. This depends on how much myelin (the covering of the nerves) has been lost and what parts of the central nervous system are affected.
The name "multiple sclerosis" simply refers to the buildup of scar tissue in the brain and spinal cord. With MS, this scarring, or "sclerosis," happens in multiple locations inside the central nervous system.
As the myelin sheath becomes damaged, the electric signals have a harder time getting though -- or become blocked entirely. As the damage progresses, this leads to the various symptoms of multiple sclerosis mentioned previously.