Multiple Sclerosis Facts

Multiple Sclerosis Symptom Facts

Facts about Multiple Sclerosis symptoms

  • The symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis may be mild or severe, chronic (long-term) or of short duration; may be transient (appear and disappear very quickly)
  • Symptoms and signs may disappear or may fluctuate in character and intensity
  • The sometimes bizarre and transient nature of symptoms may be mistaken for a psychiatric condition
  • Approx. 40% of Multiple Sclerosis patients have Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (RRMS)
  • Approx. 20% of Multiple Sclerosis patients will initially be diagnosed as having Benign Multiple Sclerosis
  • Less than 5% - 10% of patients actually have benign Multiple Sclerosis
  • 55% of patients with Multiple Sclerosis will develop optic neuritis at some time or other during their lifetime. 45% of patients do not
  • Approximately 5% - 10% of Multiple Sclerosis patients experience trigeminal neuralgia (tic delaroux) at some stage during the course of the disease
  • Only 15% of patients with Multiple Sclerosis will have optic neuritis as a first symptom. 85% will present to their physician with a different symptom
  • Between 20% - 40% of women with Multiple Sclerosis have a relapse within the 3 months post partum (after giving birth)
  • Complete or partial remission of symptoms will occur in approx 70% of patients, particularly during the early stages of the disease
  • Males have a higher tendency to develop Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (PPMS)
  • Females tend to experience more relapses than men
  • 5% of Multiple Sclerosis patients exhibit an inappropriate euphoria
  • Approx 50% of patients with Multiple Sclerosis experience cognitive impairment such as difficulty with concentration, attention, memory and poor judgment
  • Approx 50% of Multiple Sclerosis patients will suffer some form of mental disturbance such as depression, mild dementia or organic psychosis
  • 2/3 of patients with Multiple Sclerosis will develop disturbance of sphincter control at some stage during the course of the disease
  • The major bowel complaint is constipation although fecal incontinence may occur occasionally in some patients
  • Depression is common and unrelated to cognitive impairment although it may worsen existing cognitive difficulties
  • Approx 10% of patients with Multiple Sclerosis will suffer severe psychotic disorders such as Manic Depression (Bipolar Disorder) and paranoia
  • In approx 80% of Multiple Sclerosis sufferers, heat will cause a temporary worsening of symptoms (Uhthoff's Phenomenon). The heat source may be externally produced, for example, a hot bath; or the result of physical exertion. Removal of the heat source / cooling normally, though not always, eliminates the problem, although this can take from a few minutes to several hours.
  • 60% of neurological signs experienced during hyperthermia (i.e. Uhthoff's phenomenon) are new to the patient.
  • Some heat sensitive patients find a cool bath or swimming temporarily relieves some symptoms
  • Relapsing-remitting Multiple Sclerosis patients develop, on average, 20 new lesions per year and will have between 1 2 exacerbations per year
  • For every 8 10 new lesions shown by MRI, only 1 clinical manifestation (measurable exacerbation) will occur
  • Patients with Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis have a higher incidence of spinal cord lesion and exhibit much more rapid development of disability than those with other forms of the disease
  • 1 in every 4, or 25%, of exacerbations are associated with a viral infection
  • Approx 75% - 85% of patients with Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (RRMS) will go on to develop Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (SPMS)
  • Approx 80% of patients with Multiple Sclerosis experience fatigue
  • Spasticity will occur in approx 60% of patients with a progressive form of the disease
  • 80% - 90% of men and 45% - 70% of women will report some form of sexual dysfunction
  • Patients with Multiple Sclerosis have a greater risk of seizure than in the general population
  • Lesions may occur in the Corpus Callosum, an area of the brain thought to be involved in seizures
  • Exercises or physical therapy designed to stretch the muscles, particularly those of the leg, can help prevent contractures, an irreversible shortening of muscles.

See also:

Multiple Sclerosis facts



Multiple Sclerosis

No virus has ever been isolated as the cause of Multiple Sclerosis.

What is Multiple Sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis is currently thought to be an autoimmune disease. An autoimmune disease is one where the body's immune system is thought to attack its own cells and therefore cause damage.... Read More