The symptomatic spectrum of multiple sclerosis can vary widely, with different symptoms depending on the areas of the body affected. Multiple sclerosis is an inflammatory neurological disease that causes dysfunction mainly in the central nervous system. Because multiple sclerosis affects the nervous system, people with this form of neurological disease may experience symptoms over time in most innervated areas of the body.
Multiple sclerosis is estimated to affect over 2 million people worldwide, while in the United States, the disease affects approximately 350,000 people. For some reason, MS affects mostly the female sex. While the disease can also develop in men, multiple sclerosis is very common in women. Another interesting feature of MS is that it often affects young people. The disease has the highest incidence in people between the ages of 20 and 40, rarely affecting the elderly.
Multiple sclerosis involves damage to nerve cells, destruction of myelin, the substance that normally covers neurons. Myelin plays a vital role in transmitting nerve impulses throughout the body, establishing connections between neighboring nerve cells. When the myelin layers are attacked, nerve impulses travel at reduced speed between the neurons and the body is unable to adequately respond to external stimuli.
The symptoms of multiple sclerosis are varied and can be felt in different parts of the body. Most patients have individualized MS symptoms that tend to occur in episodes or “flags”. The evolution of multiple sclerosis is unpredictable, alternating with stages of remission and stages of relapse. Most people with MS experience periodic, recurring symptoms that worsen in the stages of relapse. Given that the symptoms of multiple sclerosis vary and are nonspecific at certain stages of the disease, multiple sclerosis cannot be diagnosed solely on the basis of clinical manifestations. Multiple sclerosis is usually diagnosed through laboratory tests, blood analysis, and complex neurological examinations.
Common, generalized symptoms of multiple sclerosis are marked fatigue, body weakness, tingling and burning sensations, pain, itching and numbness in the muscles, loss of dexterity, and uncoordinated body movements. Other physical symptoms of multiple sclerosis include visual impairment, loss of mobility, tremors, cramps, tremors, poor balance, dizziness, and dizziness. In the later stages of the disease, the symptoms of multiple sclerosis may include partial paralysis, renal and gastrointestinal dysfunction.
The neuropsychological symptoms of multiple sclerosis are: mental confusion; altered, inaccurate perceptions; poor concentration; short-term memory loss; compromising judgment and unpredictable, sudden changes in mood. A symptom of multiple sclerosis that often occurs in people with this form of neurological disease is depression. Most people with MS eventually become depressed and avoid any kind of interaction with other people.
Although many of the symptoms of MS can be very pronounced at certain stages of the disease, they can be relieved with treatment. Currently available medical treatments are able to ease the symptoms of MS during periods of relapse and, over time, can even help rebuild the myelin, thus helping patients recover from the disease. It is important to detect the symptoms of multiple sclerosis in time and start appropriate treatment before the disease becomes serious.