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Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis

The signs and symptoms of multiple sclerosis will vary for each person, depending on the area of the nervous system that has been affected. Some of the more common symptoms include vision problems, lack of coordination, and difficulty speaking. Most patients experience their first multiple sclerosis symptoms between the ages of 20 and 40.

Signs and Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis: An Overview

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an unpredictable disease of the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). In a person with MS, the communication between the brain and other parts of the body is disrupted. The signs and symptoms of this disease usually first appear between the ages of 20 and 40, and they can range in severity from mild to disabling.


Possible Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms

There are a number of possible MS symptoms, including:
  • Problems with vision
  • Muscle weakness
  • Spasticity (tight muscles due to increased muscle tone)
  • Fatigue
  • Impaired senses of pain, temperature, and touch
  • Pain (moderate to severe)
  • Lack of coordination
  • Tremor (shaking)
  • Depression
  • Sexual problems
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Vertigo (feeling that the room is spinning)
  • Bladder problems
  • Bowel problems
  • Euphoria (extreme happiness)
  • Difficulty thinking clearly.

More Detail on Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis

The first symptom of the condition is often blurred or double vision, difficulty distinguishing between red and green, or even blindness in one eye.
Most multiple sclerosis patients experience muscle weakness in their extremities and difficulty with coordination and balance. These symptoms may be severe enough to affect walking or even standing. In the worst cases, multiple sclerosis can produce partial or complete paralysis.
Most people with multiple sclerosis also exhibit paresthesias, brief abnormal sensory feelings, such as:
  • Numbness
  • Prickling
  • "Pins and needles" sensations.
Some people with multiple sclerosis may also experience pain.
Speech impediments, tremors, and dizziness are other common multiple sclerosis symptoms. Occasionally, people with multiple sclerosis have hearing loss.
Approximately half of all people with multiple sclerosis experience cognitive problems, such as difficulties with concentration, attention, memory, and poor judgment. Such symptoms are usually mild and are frequently overlooked.
Depression is another common symptom of multiple sclerosis.
(Click Symptoms of MS for more information.)
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Multiple Sclerosis Info

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