Signs and symptoms of multiple sclerosis vary widely, depending on the location of affected nerve fibres. Multiple sclerosis signs and symptoms may include:
- Numbness or weakness in one or more limbs, which typically occurs on one side of your body at a time or the bottom half of your body.
- Partial or complete loss of vision, usually in one eye at a time, often with pain during eye movement (optic neuritis).
- Double vision or blurring of vision
- Tingling or pain in parts of your body
- Electric-shock sensations that occur with certain head movements
- Tremor, lack of coordination or unsteady gait
Most people with multiple sclerosis, particularly in the beginning stages of the disease, experience relapses of symptoms, which are followed by periods of complete or partial remission. Signs and symptoms of multiple sclerosis often are triggered or worsened by an increase in body temperature.
Causes of Multiple Sclerosis
The exact causes of MS are not known however it is believed that it is likely that the onset of this disease is a result of some combination of genetic, environmental and infectious factors. It has been established that the risk of multiple sclerosis is higher for people who have a family history of the disease. A number of specific genes have also been linked with MS. A variety of viruses have also been linked to the onset of multiple sclerosis, in particular, with Epstein-Barr virus, the virus that causes infectious mononucleosis. The age of onset for MS is most commonly between 20-40 and it occurs more frequently in women.