What Are Usually the First Signs of Multiple Sclerosis?

Reviewed on 8/20/2020

Symptoms of multiple sclerosis vary from person to person, but the most common early sign is tingling sensations.
Symptoms of multiple sclerosis vary from person to person, but the most common early signs are tingling sensations.

The symptoms of multiple sclerosis are often different from person to person. Some people have minor or fewer symptoms and do not need treatment. Others will have trouble getting around and doing daily tasks. The following are the five most common early symptoms across all patients:

  • Abnormal sensations (tingling sensation or paresthesia)
  • Weakness
  • Extreme tiredness (fatigue)
  • Pain: It includes both muscle and nerve pain 
  • Vision disturbances: Blurred or double vision 

The following are less-common early symptoms of MS:

What Is Multiple Sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s own proteins. In MS, the central nervous system (the spinal cord and brain) is affected. 

The disease damages and destroys the protective sheet (myelin) around the nerve fibers. Because of this condition, an individual might develop problems with muscle control, vision, bladder control, and other body functions. 

The distinctive feature of multiple sclerosis is that its symptoms may affect different parts of the body sometimes months or years apart. The active phase of the disease is called flares, and the symptomless period is called remission.

At What Age Do People Get Multiple Sclerosis?

  • Multiple sclerosis (MS) is most commonly diagnosed in females between ages 20 and 40. 
  • It may occur at any age and can involve both genders, however. 
  • MS can occur in childhood or people over 40, but it occurs less frequently in these age groups. 
  • MS in children and teens is difficult to diagnose.

QUESTION

What kind of disease is multiple sclerosis? See Answer

What Are the Causes of Multiple Sclerosis?

Doctors and researchers have yet to understand the causes of multiple sclerosis (MS); however, there are few common risk factors, which include: 

  • Immune causes: The body develops a reaction to its own proteins.
  • Viral infection: Some patients develop MS after viral infection (especially after Epstein-Barr virus or the human herpes virus 6 infection).
  • Environmental factors
  • Stress: Patients with increased emotional stress are at risk of developing MS. 
  • Smoking: Patients with a history of smoking are most at risk. 

How to Diagnose Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is difficult to diagnose because of highly variable symptoms. It is important to rule out other conditions when diagnosing MS. A neurologist usually takes medical history and orders below investigations:

A few other tests are performed to distinguish MS from stroke, thyroid-caused illness, or other diseases that cause symptoms similar to MS.

What Is the Treatment for Multiple Sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis (MS) has no cure; however, multiple treatment types may improve body function. Doctors might prescribe pain killers, antidepressants, and other drugs, such as muscle relaxants, tranquilizers, or botulinum toxin (Botox), to ease muscle spasms and make MS attacks shorter and less severe. 

Some drugs that may slow down the disease and help prevent nerve damage in MS include:

Some studies suggest that vitamin D, which you synthesize from sunlight, may protect you from MS. Some people with higher chances of getting the disease move to sunnier regions with the hope of lowering the risk of MS.

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Reviewed on 8/20/2020
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