Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a disease of the central nervous system that affects balance, movement and vision. Multiple sclerosis is an example of a demyelinating disease, where the protective coating called myelin that surrounds nerve fibres becomes damaged.

Myelin protects and insulates nerve fibres, increasing electrical resistance and enhancing nerve signal conduction. Destruction of the myelin disrupts the messages being transmitted by nerve fibres and this leads to a wide range of physical and mental symptoms. In multiple sclerosis, the body’s own immune system mistakes myelin for a foreign body and mounts an attack against it, stripping it away from the nerve fibres.

Aside from myelin loss, the nerve fibres eventually become damaged, leading to increasingly severe neurological symptoms.

Examples of the symptoms that may manifest include:

Visual problems

  • Blurred central vision
  • Double vision
  • Eye pain and paralysis of the eye muscles
  • Colour blindness
  • Flashes of light in the visual field
  • Uncontrolled jerky movements of the eyeballs, called nystagmus.
  • Sudden loss of vision

Sensory problems

  • Changes in sensation such as numbness, tingling, and pins and needles
  • Intolerance of above average temperatures

Muscular and balance problems

  • Muscle weakness
  • Loss of balance and co-ordination, called ataxia.
  • Stiffness and muscle spasms
  • Acute or chronic pain
  • Loss of control of bladder and bowel

Cognitive problems

  • Impaired memory
  • Emotional changes such as depression
  • Difficulty speaking and understanding language
  • Difficulty with problem solving and solving puzzles and logical problems
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Loss of libido

Further Reading

Last Updated: Jul 16, 2023

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Written by

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Dr. Ananya Mandal is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor's (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well.


Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Mandal, Ananya. (2023, July 16). Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms. News-Medical. Retrieved on December 01, 2023 from

  • MLA

    Mandal, Ananya. "Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms". News-Medical. 01 December 2023. <>.

  • Chicago

    Mandal, Ananya. "Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms". News-Medical. (accessed December 01, 2023).

  • Harvard

    Mandal, Ananya. 2023. Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms. News-Medical, viewed 01 December 2023,


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
Post a new comment
You might also like...
Coffee consumption reduces risk of migraines, but not other neurological diseases