Symptoms of multiple sclerosis may be single or multiple and may range from mild to severe in intensity and short to long in duration. Complete or partial remission from symptoms occurs early in about 70% of individuals with multiple sclerosis.
- Visual disturbances may be the first symptoms of multiple sclerosis, but they usually subside. A person may notice a patch of blurred vision, red-to-orange or red-to-gray distortions (color desaturation), or monocular visual loss (loss of vision in one eye). Visual symptoms due to optic nerve inflammation (optic neuritis) in multiple sclerosis usually are accompanied or preceded by eye pain.
- Limb weakness with or without difficulties with coordination and balance may occur early.
- Muscle spasms, fatigue, numbness, and prickling pain are common symptoms.
- There may be a loss of sensation, speech impediment (typically a problem articulating words), tremors, or dizziness.
Fifty-percent of people experience mental changes such as:
- decreased concentration
- attention deficits
- some degree of memory loss
- inability to perform sequential tasks
- impairment in judgment
Other symptoms may include:
- manic depression
- an uncontrollable urge to laugh and weep
As the disease worsens, individuals may experience sexual dysfunction or reduced bowel and bladder control. Heat appears to intensify multiple sclerosis symptoms for about 60% of those with the disease. Pregnancy seems to reduce the number of attacks, especially during the third trimester.
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Archived: March 20, 2014
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