What is Multiple Sclerosis?

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a severe neurological condition in which the body's immune system turns against its own nerve cells and causes the protective covering of those cells to degenerate. It directly affects the brain, the central nervous system, spinal chord, and optic nerves. MS is a long-term disease that has no cure till date but can be managed with sustained physiotherapy and immune system-suppressant medications.  

In MS, the body's immune system directly targets the protective sheath that covers and protects nerve fibers from damage, rendering them weak and unable to pass information. As a result, the body's communication network breaks down, and the coordination between different parts of the body and brain gets severely affected. The brain slowly loses control over movements, vision, and other body and brain functions.

Symptoms

Symptoms of MS varies greatly among patients, and is dependent on the amount and location of nerve damage in the body. Some patients may slowly lose the ability to move independently, while others may have long periods of relatively normal life and intermittent attacks. MS patients experience certain symptoms over a period of time, which then subsides, but can relapse later. Symptoms may repeat, or even completely new symptoms may occur, depending upon whether new cluster of nerves have been affected.

Vision problems
  • partial or complete loss of vision in one eye
  • blurry or hazy vision
  • sharp painful sensation during eye movements
  • double vision
Movement problems
  • paralysis or numbness in one or more part of the body; typically occurs in the torso or leg.
  • loss of balance and unsteadiness
  • tremors and shaking
  • lack of coordination between limbs
  • shooting pain accompanying certain neck movements
general symptoms
  • tingling sensation in hand and feet
  • severe fatigue
  • slurred speech
  • problems with bowel and bladder function

When to see a doctor

If you start experiencing multiple symptoms for sustained periods and without any apparent cause, check with a neurologist today. There are several early signs of MS which may seem trifling on the outset but can signal deeper problems, so caution is always a good practice.

Early signs of Multiple Sclerosis

  • blurry or hazy vision in one eye
  • a tingling and numbing sensation in hands or feet
  • sexual dysfunction and bladder problems
  • sustained mental confusion and slurring of speech
  • sustained weakness
  • sharp pain during certain movements