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Multiple Sclerosis Signs and Symptoms

The hallmark of multiple sclerosis is unpredictable periods of exacerbation, remission, and progression. Initial symptoms of MS may be brief and mild. The first serious attack usually lasts weeks or months and occurs between the ages of 20 and 40.

The most common early symptoms include sensory abnormalities (e.g., tingling, numbness, itching, tightness, burning, shooting pain in the back and limbs [Lhermitte's sign]) difficulty walking, eye pain, and vision loss.

Symptoms of the disease vary, depending on where the damage occurs, and range from minor physical annoyances to major disabilities. Common symptoms include the following:



  • Balance and equilibrium abnormalities (e.g., dizziness, vertigo, uncoordinated movements, tremor)
  • Bladder and bowel dysfunction (e.g., urgency, incontinence, nocturia, constipation)
  • Behavioral changes (e.g., mood swings, depression)
  • Cognitive dysfunction (e.g., impaired memory, reasoning, concentration)
  • Facial numbness
  • Motor abnormalities (e.g., muscle weakness, spasticity, spasm)
  • Sexual dysfunction (e.g., erectile dysfunction, sexual inactivity)
  • Vision abnormalities (e.g., eye pain, vision loss in one eye, double vision [diplopia], involuntary eye movement


Muscle weakness can involve the extremities (arms and legs) on one side of the body (hemiparesis), both legs (paraparesis), or all four extremities (quadraparesis). Muscles in the affected area may tighten (spasticity) and contract spontaneously (spasm or clonus).

Many people with MS experience fatigue and need to rest and sleep during the day in order to continue their activities. The degree of fatigue may not be related to the severity of other symptoms.

An increase in body temperature (e.g., caused by hot weather, hot bath and showers, or fever) can worsen symptoms or produce new ones. This occurs because elevated body temperature slows nerve impulse conduction, especially in demyelinated nerves.














 
www.consultantsinneurology.com

Raymond Rybicki, MD

This information is for general educational uses only. It may not apply to you and your specific medical needs. This information should not be used in place of a visit, call, consultation with or the advice of your physician or health care professional. Communicate promptly with your physician or other health care professional with any health-related questions or concerns.

Be sure to follow specific instructions given to you by your physician or health care professional.




The materials provided at this site are for informational purposes and are not intended for use as diagnosis or treatment of a health problem or as substitute for consulting a licensed medical professional. Check with a physician if you suspect you are ill, or believe you may have one of the problems discussed on our website, as many problems and diseases may be serious and even life-threatening. Also note while we frequently update our website's content, medical information changes rapidly.
 
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