Although the first recording of multiple sclerosis symptoms and signs occurred in 1868 by Jean-Martin Charcot, the medical community still has no real idea what causes one person to have this potentially devastating disease and not another. It is thought by many to be a disease of the autoimmune system in which the body actually attacks itself creating lesions and plaque that attack the spinal cord and brain.
The Beginnings of Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms and Signs
One of the hardest parts of catching this disease in the earliest stages is that with over 50 known multiple sclerosis symptoms and signs, many of which are all but impossible to detect, the average person does not seek medical help until the disease becomes more advanced. The other part of the problem is that so many of the symptoms are also indicative of other diseases and disorders.
The very nature of MS is responsible for so many different symptoms that the only way it can be properly diagnosed is by finding lesions attached to the myelin sheath that protects the spinal cord and the brain. There are however, several common signs and symptoms of multiple sclerosis that are used as a primary diagnosis including:
1. Loss of Balance and Coordination
2. Tingling Sensations or Numbness in Legs or Arms
3. Lack of Strength in legs or arms
4. Vision issues including optic neuritis, blurred vision or double vision.
All of these are not only common symptoms of MS, but can be associated with many other neurological conditions. There are several less commons signs and symptoms of multiple sclerosis that are used as an indication that a patient needs to be sent for further testing:
1. Slurred Speech or other speech problems
2. Muscle paralysis that comes on suddenly and then slowly goes away
3. Loss of fine motor skills
4. Loss of mental acuity
If you or someone you love exhibits any of these multiple sclerosis symptoms and signs, you need to see your family physician and talk to him about scheduling you for further testing such as an MRI or a CT scan. While there are no definitive tests for MS, these imaging tests can be used to help detect the lesions and buildup of plaque that are considered to be the cause of the various symptoms associated with this often devastating disease. Early detection can help you develop a treatment plan that can help you learn to cope with the disease and perhaps keep it in remission for many years.