What are the symptoms of multiple sclerosis?

The symptoms of multiple sclerosis result from inflammation, swelling, and lesions on the myelin, a fatty material that covers and insulates the nerve cells in the central nervous system. Myelin greatly improves the transmission speed of nerve impulses without decay of the nerve signal. Loss of myelin leads to abnormal transmission of electrical impulses through the central nervous system and difficulties with motor skills, cognition and sensation.

Symptoms of multiple sclerosis generally appear between the ages of 20 and 40 years. Symptoms are unpredictable and can vary greatly. In the early stages of the disease, symptoms come and go. People with multiple sclerosis can also experience periods of remission, in which symptoms disappear, and periods of relapse, in which symptoms reappear. Symptoms may worsen during relapses.

Symptoms of multiple sclerosis include:

  • Abnormal sensations in the extremities, such as tingling, burning or numbness
  • Bowel and bladder problems, such as constipation and incontinence
  • Fatigue
  • Hearing and vision loss
  • Mental difficulties, such as problems with judgment, memory and concentration
  • Muscle spasms
  • Muscle weakness and difficulty moving arms and legs
  • Paralysis
  • Problems with balance, coordination and walking
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Trembling or tremors
  • Worsening of symptoms with increased body temperature

What is multiple sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis is a progressive autoimmune disease and the most common neurological disease diagnosed in young adults. It is believed that multiple sclerosis occurs when the body’s own immune system attacks the central nervous system. Commonly called MS, the disease generally gets worse with time and can cause significant nerve damage.

The progression and severity of multiple ... Read more about multiple sclerosisintroduction


What causes multiple sclerosis?

The causes of multiple sclerosis are not well understood. Researchers believe that the body’s immune system begins to attack the nervous system, specifically the myelin. The myelin is a fatty material that covers and insulates the nerve cells in the central nervous system. Healthy myelin is vital to the normal, rapid movement of electrical impulses through the nerve pathways.

In m... Read more about multiple sclerosiscauses


How is multiple sclerosis treated?

There is no cure for multiple sclerosis. However, the disease can be managed and the symptoms controlled to various degrees of success with an individualized, multifaceted approach that includes medications and other therapies. You can help manage multiple sclerosis by consistently following your treatment plan.

Treatment plans are geared toward managing your symptoms and suppress... Read more about multiple sclerosistreatments

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Annual Review Date: Sep 6, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Brain and Nerves