The symptoms of
multiple sclerosis (MS) vary from person to person
depending on which parts of the brain or spinal cord (central nervous system) are damaged. The
loss of myelin and scarring caused by MS can affect
any part of the central nervous system. Myelin is the insulating coating around a nerve.
Symptoms may come and go or become more or less severe from day to day or, in rare cases, from hour to hour.
Symptoms may become worse with increased body temperature or after a
It is possible that the main title of the report Multiple Sclerosis is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.
Muscle or motor symptoms, such as weakness, leg dragging, stiffness, a tendency to drop
things, a feeling of heaviness, clumsiness, or a lack of coordination (ataxia).
Visual symptoms, such as blurred, foggy, or hazy vision, eyeball pain
(especially when you move your eyes), blindness, or double vision. Optic
neuritis—sudden loss of vision that is often painful—is a fairly common first
symptom. It occurs in up to 25 out of 100 people who have MS.
Sensory symptoms, such as tingling, a
pins-and-needles sensation, numbness, a band of tightness around the trunk or
legs, or electrical sensations moving down the back and legs.
As MS progresses, symptoms may
become more severe and may include:
Worse muscle problems, and stiff,
mechanical movements (spasticity) or
uncontrollable shaking (tremor). These problems may make walking
difficult. A wheelchair may be needed some or all of the time.
Feeling very tired (fatigue). This can be worse if symptoms
such as pain, spasticity, bladder problems, anxiety, or depression make it
hard to sleep.
In this article
This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this