Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurodegenerative disorder caused by the immune system mistakenly attacking the myelin sheath, or the protective protein coat around nerve fibers. This results in inflammation, which further damages the myelin sheath as well as the nerve cells themselves, and the cells that produce myelin.

Symptoms 

The immune system attack on myelin causes a disruption in electric signals traveling along the nerve fibers from the brain to the body and back. As a result, patients with MS experience many symptoms, including fatigue, numbness and tingling, muscle spasms, walking difficulties, pain, and bowel or bladder problems. Many patients also experience emotional changes, including depression, anxiety, and mood swings.

Diagnosis

There is no single test to diagnose MS. Physicians diagnose the disease based on a series of physical and neurological examinations that can help eliminate other conditions. These tests include magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), blood and cerebrospinal fluid tests, and tests that measure electrical signals from the brain.

Types of MS

Patients with MS are broadly classified into four groups based on disease progression.

Clinically isolated syndrome

Clinically isolated syndrome (CIS) represents a single event, the first episode of neurological symptoms. On its own, it is not indicative of MS, unless MRI scans show lesions in the brain.

Relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis

Relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) is the most common type of MS. Patients experience attacks of increasing neurological symptoms, called exacerbations or relapses, followed by periods of partial or complete recovery. At various times, patients may have active, not active, or worsening neurological symptoms.

Secondary progressive multiple sclerosis

Secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS) is the secondary stage of MS that follows RRMS. Patients may have relapsing-remitting episodes initially but then experience a steady worsening of neurological symptoms.

Primary progressive multiple sclerosis

Primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS) affects about 15 percent of MS patients. Patients experience a steady decline in neurological function without relapses from the onset of symptoms.

Treatments

There are many treatments available for MS, and many more experimental treatments are being developed. Most therapies aim to suppress the immune system to reduce inflammation and help protect the myelin sheath.

Prognosis

With improving treatments, life expectancy for patients with MS has increased over the years and most patients with MS now live to age 65 or older.

***

Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

Total Posts: 12
Özge has a MSc. in Molecular Genetics from the University of Leicester and a PhD in Developmental Biology from Queen Mary University of London. She worked as a Post-doctoral Research Associate at the University of Leicester for six years in the field of Behavioural Neurology before moving into science communication. She worked as the Research Communication Officer at a London based charity for almost two years.

43 comments

  1. Nancy Budai says:

    I am very interested in the news and ongoing & upcoming studies and related material. I do besides having Primary Progressive MS 2 belong to a chapter in my hometown area . I would like to share at our meetings any of your materials .

  2. Joy Love says:

    My best friend suffers with MS. I have watched her have several relapsing remitting episodes over a period of 2 1/2 years. This last one has been very difficult. She has spasms in her stomach, legs and back. These last for days. Any information I can get to gain more knowledge is very helpful so I can encourage her. She is a strong beautiful woman and not use to debilitating situations. She is use to pushing through pain and weakness, but this has been extremely difficult to say the least. This relapse found another Lesion and she isn’t able to push through.

    • David Thomson says:

      Hope she gets better again it’s hard when u get hit with it at once then u need to adapt too it

    • Elisha martin says:

      The Autoimmune protocol can put ms into remission or stop progression. It’s all what we eat but western allopathic approach to medicine does not address nutrition so they don’t have cures.

      • Garrett B says:

        Nutrition, Socially Active, Exercise, Viatmins/Herbs, Brain Stimulation and creating a Calm/Relax/Stress free environment….together can slow and even stop the progression of MS. There is enough research on all of these including what I have done and see and read. It’s super important they are all worked on.

  3. Melissa says:

    I was diagnosed 4 years ago with fibromyalgia carpal tunnel plantersfeet an autoimmune disease an have all the symptoms of ms an its getting worse i keep dropping things my fingers stiffen up an my whole right side is in pain all the time cant sleep with the numbness an tingling an pain.. Cant see even with my glasses still blured. Fall alot cant stay blanced. Headache all the time. Tired all the time an depression on sex drive. Feel like i want to die. Cant live like this no more. what dr do i need to see to find out if i have this. Help please!!!

    • Big Viking HD says:

      I broke my neck 12 years ago in a motorcycle accident I have been diagnosed with everything but ms then a year ago a friend of mine forced me to go to a doctor that specializes in MS diagnosed with reoccurring MS A 10 year veteran special forces airborne ranger I was taught and trained that pain is your best friend careful of doctors that only wish to treat this disease one way somewhere there is a cure for this and they will find it I was crawling to the bathroom at 3:30 in the morning and got stung in the back from a scorpion within minutes I was able to stand up i’m not sure of a cure but there is really if it’s somewhere in nature not in Dr. prescribed medications exercise eating right I refuse to medications there are so many alternatives medications that do work but I don’t like to be high I stay active careful of doctors I wish you the best I would piss on a spark plug and rub battery acid on my ass every day if it helped be strong and flight it will prove to you and others what you really are I wish you the best I refuse to hang my flag upside down

      • Leisa McCullough says:

        You made me laugh at least! What works for some might not work others. Dont think I’ll search out a scorpion for treatment. Probably you jumping the hell up fixed you in no time! Seriously, I’m glad you are better!

    • Shantina Barber says:

      A Rheumatologist. Please try to hold on and be strong! I know this could be a lot to ask, but I know you should just hold on and pray. Bless you!!!

    • Lisa Rankin says:

      I’m so sorry you are going through all of this but there IS something that may help. Look into the Wahls Protocol. Terry Wahls’ story will inspire you and the protocol may change your life. Best of luck…

  4. Rhonda J Whitley says:

    I have been diagnosed with white matter brain disease and inner artery dying, cyst on my brain As I look back I have had all the related illness of, feeling like electrical shots in upper right body, vision merging into right eye, numbness, tingling, tremors increase daily and EXHAUSTION ALL THE TIME. Remember when I met with doctor she said we’ll good news, no plaque so no sign of Parkinson’s. HMO and self denial of symptoms have put me in spot where will not be able live alone. Next doctor appointment with neurologist on July 1St.
    So overwhelmed.

    • Tina says:

      I have all the symptoms related to MS I’ve had the same dr for over 10yr. I’ve also been diagnosed with RA and Sjogrens. Ms is just another possibility because of the loss of the use of my right leaf at times, headaches, memory lose, numbness tingling in hands and feet along with trimmers in my hand and upper body at times so uncontrollable I’ve need help showering. He said if he puts MS in my medical records I’ll never be able to get insurance so he’s says he’s trying to protect me but I feel I need the medication to help with the worsening symptoms I believe are cause by MS. Idk what to do or how to deal with it, I have two other autoimmune illnesses and most so many symptoms are similar, what should do?

      • Lisa Rankin says:

        I’m so sorry you are going through all of this but there IS something that may help. Look into the Wahls Protocol. Terry Wahls’ story will inspire you and the protocol may change your life. Best of luck…

  5. Max says:

    I’ve constantly thought of my diseases and wondered how I could share with others in order to pass on hope wherever possible. I’ve had epilepsy for 40 years, diabetes for 10 and a number of others within the past eight years. Cancer, a heart attack, essential tremors and impotence. Now I’m being checked out for MS, all at 56 years of age. I’m still forging ahead still teaching at two universities as an adjunct professor. Truly, I’m surprised I’m still alive. Never give up hope. God bless you all.

  6. Aimee says:

    I believe that I’m on the ms road. I have the numbness manly in my hands, the painful muscle spasms never in the same place, quickly deteriorating eyesight, confusion, heat intolerance, fatigue and I feel very disoriented sometimes when walking. I feel like the earth is spinning and I feel like I’m going to fall. My Dad had MS although I NEVER discussed any symptoms of ms with him. He passed away last year. RIP. I’m open to any suggestions as to how best to deal with these things going on in my life. I’m scared. Looking for answers…….

  7. Lisa says:

    Wow I was just diagnosed with MS today. Praying for all of you. My dr started me on an immediate treatment of solumedurol IV for five days and then a monthly IV treatment will follow starting in July. Push your doctors harder. You shouldn’t have to suffer. Help is out there. If your dr isn’t helping find a new one. I had been diagnosed with nerve damage and never had an mri before. But there are lots of lesions there. So now I know and am getting the right help. Of course I also have other autoimmune diseases so this shouldn’t be a surprise. Keeping you all in prayer.

  8. Russ says:

    Wow! I have been ignoring many symptoms,I have been having tremors non stop in both my upper thighs. I finally got on line to see, I feel sick to my stomach.

  9. Melissa says:

    I have been so scared that I have a Brain tumor. One day, over a month ago, I woke up and my hands hurt so bad and I couldn’t close them into a fist. After that my thumb and first two fingers on both hands have stayed numb and tingling. Shortly after that I experienced so much pain throughout my body that I could barely take it. It felt like it was in my bones. I had the pain during the day but it is always unbarable at night. Now I keep getting a weird feeling in my head. I don’t even know how to describe it. It kind of feels like a dull pressure but not like I have a headache. I also feel like I am in a daze a lot of the time. I keep feeling like I am going to be diagnosed with a brain tumor. I go see a rheumatologist towards the end of June, and I’m going to fight for an MRI. I don’t have difficulty walking, or excruciating headaches, or things like that. It’s starting to make me feel like since I don’t have all the symptoms of MS that maybe it’s not what I have. I do feel like some of my symptoms are mimicking the symptoms that people with MS deal with. I keep praying to God that if it has to be anything, it won’t be a brain tumor, it will be MS. It’s not that I want it to be that, it’s just that I don’t want to die either. I have two young boys, one is 9 years old and one is two. I don’t want to leave them yet. please if you read this keep me in your prayers and if anyone has a similar story please let me know.

    • Garrett B says:

      Melissa,
      I know a great deal about MS…though biology, research and neuro psychology. MS usually starts with inflammation and starts destroying white blood cells on the Myosin Sheath on Nerve Cells. Early symptoms can be headaches, fuzzy sight, dizziness, lightly unbalanced, depression. Be very very careful with MS bc a it’s hard to diagnose sometimes bc symptoms are everywhere. Make sure they check for LESIONS (they are damaged neuron cells in the body that are called SCARS. When you have Many of them it is a tell sign of MS. The Term MS comes from MULTIPLE SCARS. Best advice: no matter if you MS or any cancer you MUST CHANGE DIET NOW. Meaning go Mediterranean, Ketogentic!!!! Stay away from sugar, processed foods, dairy, alcohol…and ACIDIC FOODS. ONLY EAT ALKALINE FOODS. Make sure you look them up. Doctors do not push nutrition enough with other treatments.

  10. Tonya says:

    I have been experiencing legs spasms and my toes and feet stiffen up. It’s so uncomfortable and hard to talk at times. I have periods where I’m fine, but for 2 days, I’ve been trying not to stretch and if I do, the spasms and stiffness comes on. I have not been diagnosed with MS, but I have so many if the symptoms. I’m going to make me an appointment to get it looked at. God bless all of you.

  11. Sandra says:

    I have many symptoms of MS, but I am diagnosed with lupus. Autoimmune diseases have cross over symptoms. So fight for a straight diagnosis with labs and mri. It’s the only way they can rule some things out.

  12. Alisha says:

    I am sorry for you all and I feel for you all. I have something going on but not sure what. My whole body has been hurting fir a long time but 4 yrs ago I started having trouble with vertigo and my hearing 2yrs ago I found out I had a significant loss of hearing in my left ear. The last 20 months I keep having these episodes where a joint in my body feels super fatigued then becomes sore and progresses to severe pain In Just a coupe hours. Then I can’t use that extremity for about 3-4 days then it all goes away until the next time. Md thought RA and was starting to investigate for that but after another visit to the ER they done know so now going to NEUROLOGIST but can’t get in until August. He mentioned MS as a possibility Very discouraged. What do you guys think?

    • K Schwartz says:

      I think you should be tested for lymes disease as it can attack your hearing, give you vertigo and tinnitus. Muscle aches and fatigue …..Good luck

  13. Lori says:

    I found out in 2018 I had m.s. I have been getting infusion every 28 days of Tsyrabi. I have a great DR . I just got infusion today my 6th one . I am really scared I have been having more weakness in my right forearm and the my vision is bad . I have to tell my DR Monday of what’s going on and I am so scared of what he is going to say .

  14. Michelle says:

    I haven’t been diagnosed but I’ve had tingly eye sensations with eye movement. And it’s concerning me. My toes have cramped for the last 10 years, I’ve been fatigued.
    Not sure if any of that fits MS.

  15. Karen Page says:

    I have been diagnosed with Multiple sclerosis and CIDP Cronic inflammatory demalating Polynurop. I am 68 years old .What is my life expectancy having both disease.

  16. Carol Svrcek says:

    I have recently been having tingling in my left face, neck and shoulder since first of May. I have gone to neuro doctor and their tests were inclusive; but they failed to request my MRI tests that I had done on my brain & neck because I might have had a pinched nerve but my dr with Austin Brain and Spine said OK but see neuro dr. I picked up my disc and radiology report and read it – it mentions gliosis. I have had pain on the left side of my brain since 2011 when I had Bacterial Meningitis from a sinus infection that ruptured my left eardrum and seeped into my brain causing an abscess about 2 in by 7 in. I was lifeflighted to Brackenridge where my husband was told I wouldn’t live thru the night as my spinal tap was so bad (and I had been seeing an allergist and taking allergy shots every week). I was in a coma for 6 days and lost most of hearing in left ear and had nasal surgery and tubes in both ears that night in ER. Had awesome ENT Dr Meigs. But 10 days in hospital & rehab brought me back….plus lots of prayers from our entire congregation and town!!! Took “party ball” twice a day for 4 months to dissolve abscess. Still have trouble with memory and words.. then my 2 sons were diagnosed with Myotonic Dystrophy last June 2018 (they are ages 39 & 44).Youngest has broken so many bones and fallen for 10 years and been to specialists and therapists but no one knew what he had. Finally after almost 4 hrs of testing; one says “I think I know what you have and wrote down Myotonic Dystrophy… it’s been a struggle aver since and he was also diagnosed with Drop Foot in both feet and Charcot-Marie-Tooth disorder. Endless dr appts!! Plus my husband had a stroke in 2009 at age 54 and is on disability.
    And now this on me! God gives us what we can handle ; but my cup runneth over lately!!
    If it turns out to be MS I don’t know what will happen as I just quite work the end of April to take care of everyone! My vision is getting affected on my left eye and tingling is spreading plus I get spasms in legs and hands!
    Say a prayer for us!!

  17. S Jones says:

    I do feel everyone’s pain and frustration. They can, they can’t- what is it? If you don’t know what a person has then refer them out. I have been through several blood tests, placed on steroids.
    Sent to an Neurologist who clearly doesn’t deal well with telling people what he thinks. Had an MRI done but was told that next time I should ask to include my neck area and upper chest. I’m not the doctor. Clearly now wants a spinal tap done. I’m in my late 50’s had lost sight in my right eye which started this mess. After going through eye specialist who misdiagnosed me. Causing me to occur a emergency room bill over 5k. After regaining my sight back he then sends me to see a neurologist.
    So, here I am on the fence about having a spinal tap. I blew a disc 8 years ago and it resulted in drop foot. Which now is MS symptoms. Wow I just feel like I have been threw the ringer. I have no trust in our medical system. When I get a bill now I always see a new doctors name on the bill that I didn’t even see.
    My insurance company has been great about it all. I just want answers and I am over all the BS.
    I am looking now for an MS neurologist.
    Now a days you have to research your own symptoms and go prepared. I hope everyone who has posted here gets real answers and positive results.
    I will continue on to find the right answers. An get treatment that fits my symptoms.
    Best wishes to all

  18. Teneal says:

    Going through the process of elimination in my diagnosis, it’s getting worse fast. My face is almost completely numb, cannot use left hand, spine is falling apart and most days my left leg doesn’t work. I can’t get up, you could tell me the house is burning down and it won’t matter…. please help with advice…

  19. Michelle says:

    The autoimmune paleo protocol can help reverse symptoms, as it removes inflammatory foods. There are people in full remission who have gone this route. Look up Dr Sarah Ballantyne and read her book The Paleo Approach.

Comments are closed.