Addressing Multiple Sclerosis in Communities of Color
Martin M.S. Alliance Foundation
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Multiple Sclerosis symptoms: generally appear between the ages of 20 and 40.
Typically a person is seen after developing two or more distinct episodes of symptoms that resolve yet are consistent with MS.
What Are the Types of Symptoms?
It is helpful to divide the symptoms into three categories: primary, secondary, and tertiary.
What Causes the Symptoms?
Demyelination, or deterioration of the protective sheath that surrounds nerve fibers, can occur in any part of the brain or spinal cord.
The symptoms that people with MS experience depend on the affected area. Demyelination in the nerves that send messages to the muscles causes problems with movement (motor symptoms), while demyelination along the nerves that carry sensory messages to the brain causes disturbances in sensation.
Are Symptoms the Same in Every Person?
NO - Multiple sclerosis follows a varied and unpredictable course.
In many people, the disease starts with a single symptom, followed by months or even years without any progression of symptoms.
In others, the symptoms become worse within weeks or months.
It is important to understand that although a wide range of symptoms can occur, a given individual may experience only some of the symptoms and never have others.
Some symptoms may occur once, resolve, and never return.
Because MS is such an individual disease, it is not helpful to compare yourself with other people who have MS.
Medications can help ease MS attacks and possibly slow the disease.
Physical therapy and other treatments help control symptoms -- and improve your quality of life.