The symptoms of multiple sclerosis vary greatly from one person to the other. The symptoms are dependent on which nerves the myelin coating has been damaged. Therefore, a person with MS in general experiences not all MS-related symptoms. Given the nature of the disease symptoms may vary and patients can recover from certain symptoms.
The following symptoms may occur in people with MS: fatigue, tingling in the arms and legs, muscle weakness, balance problems, problems with urinating and bowel movements, eye problems, speech disorders, problems with cognition, coordination problems, problems with sex and sensory symptoms including Uhthoff’s Phenomenon and Lhermitte’s Sign.
The first symptoms, such as fatigue, dizziness and tingling, may also occur in many other diseases. This is one of the reasons why it is not easy to diagnose MS is in the early stages. There is no simple test that gives a definitive result.
To determine MS a number of criteria are being looked at, called the McDonald criteria. Here the focus lies on the pattern of the symptoms. In addition, an MRI scan of the brains and / or spinal cord is usually conducted. A lumbar puncture wherein cerebrospinal fluid is collected can also be performed, but is not always necessary, according to the McDonald criteria.
In most cases, people are diagnosed with MS when they are between 20 and 40 years old. Although the disease is twice as common in women, the disease affects men more seriously.
Being diagnosed with MS creates a lot of uncertainty, both for the individual and for his / her immediate environment. For it is unknown how the disease will develop and the situation may be different each day. Family and friends look on helplessly how their loved one’s condition worsens. This makes MS a disease with far-reaching consequences.
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