Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Symptoms
Multiple sclerosis symptoms and signs depend on where the nerves are demyelinated and may include
- visual changes,
- tingling or weakness (weakness may range from mild to severe),
- erectile dysfunction,
- pregnancy problems,
- incontinence (or conversely, urinary retention),
- muscle spasticity,
- painful involuntary muscle contractions.
Quick GuideMultiple Sclerosis Pictures Slideshow: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
What is multiple sclerosis (MS)?
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune inflammatory disease that attacks myelinated axons in the brain and spinal cord (central nervous system), damaging or destroying the myelin and/or the axons (nerve tissue). The disease is often slowly progressive over many years (about 25 years) and is most commonly diagnosed in females ages 20 to 40 but may occur at any age and both genders. Individuals often suffer intermittent attacks followed by periods of symptom remissions. Attacks can last for days or months at a time followed by remissions; some individuals however, may continue to get worse without periods of remission. The goal of this article is to present and introduction to the various symptoms and treatments that can arise in individuals with multiple sclerosis.
What are the symptoms one may experience with multiple sclerosis?
Because the autoimmune inflammatory may attack some of the myelinated axons
in the central nervous system almost anywhere, the location (and severity) of
each attack can be different. Consequently, the symptoms of a MS attack may be
quite variable from patient to patient and can appear almost anywhere in the
body. The usual first sign and symptom is often a change in sensory perception
(paresthesias) almost anywhere in the body. Other early common symptoms include
fatigue, weakness, tingling, and blurred vision. Because of the highly variable
symptoms this is a disease that is difficult to diagnose when symptoms first
appear. The rest of the article will present symptoms that arise from various
parts of the body that can be due to MS. Unfortunately, many of the symptoms
described below can occur in other disease processes so it is important that MS
is diagnosed by ruling out other conditions.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/17/2016