Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a condition that can affect the brain and spinal cord, causing a wide range of potential symptoms, including problems with vision, arm or leg movement, sensation or balance.

It's a lifelong condition that can sometimes cause serious disability, although it can occasionally be mild.

In many cases, it's possible to treat symptoms. Average life expectancy is slightly reduced for people with MS.

It's most commonly diagnosed in people in their 20s and 30s, although it can develop at any age. It's about 2 to 3 times more common in women than men.

MS is one of the most common causes of disability in younger adults.

Symptoms of MS

The symptoms of MS vary widely from person to person and can affect any part of the body.

The main symptoms include:

  • fatigue
  • difficulty walking
  • vision problems, such as blurred vision
  • problems controlling the bladder
  • numbness or tingling in different parts of the body
  • muscle stiffness and spasms
  • problems with balance and co-ordination
  • problems with thinking, learning and planning

Depending on the type of MS you have, your symptoms may come and go in phases or get steadily worse over time (progress).

Getting medical advice

See us if you're worried you might have early signs of MS.

The early symptoms often have many other causes, so they're not necessarily a sign of MS.

Let us know about the specific pattern of symptoms you're experiencing.

If  we think you could have MS, you'll be referred to a specialist in conditions of the nervous system (a neurologist), who may suggest tests such as an MRI scan to check for features of MS.