Signs and Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

The signs and symptoms of MS depend upon which nerves are affected, as different nerves control different functions and sensations in the body. This is why people can experience a variety of symptoms - some which come on suddenly, others appearing gradually.

These may include:

  • Blurred or double vision
  • Difficulty controlling and moving arms and legs
  • Weakness, fatigue and 'pins and needles'
  • Impaired balance
  • Bladder problems
  • Problems with speech or memory

The appearance of symptoms is, understandably, alarming. Almost as bad is the uncertainty of how they may develop or what may happen - and feeling that the whole future of both patients and their dependants is suddenly under threat.

Recent studies of apparently healthy people using MRI have shown that areas of the typical damage in the brain typical of MS are very common and affect over 40% of the population. Those who develop MS, that is who actively have the symptoms, are the "tip of the iceberg".

MS occurs more frequently in temperate climates (and in the developed countries) than in hot, equatorial climates (or third world countries).

Many authorities agree that people with MS have a fairly normal life expectancy and only about one in five may eventually need to use a wheelchair. Above all, people with MS can still expect to have a good experience of life, of love, marriage, children and a career.