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 - Northwestern Memorial Hospital - Chicago


Because the location and severity of the attack can be different, symptoms may vary. Episodes (symptoms) and remissions (no symptoms) can alternate over periods of time—days, weeks, even months. Further, episodes can be triggered or worsened by environmental stimuli: fever, sun exposure, stress, hot baths. Nerves in any part of the brain or spinal cord may be damaged by inflammation, so symptoms can occur in many parts of the body. In addition to numbness, tingling or pain in the face, or crawling or burning feelings in extremities, individuals with MS may experience:

Muscle symptoms

  • Spasms
  • Numbness in any area
  • Loss of balance
  • Difficulty walking
  • Loss of coordination and fine motor skills
  • Tremor or weakness in extremities

Bowel & bladder symptoms

  • Constipation and/or fecal incontinence
  • Overactive bladder
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Urinary incontinence

Eye symptoms

  • Double vision
  • Uncontrollable rapid eye movements
  • Loss of vision (usually one eye at a time)
  • Discomfort in the eye

Brain and nerve symptoms

  • Memory loss
  • Decreased attention span, poor judgment
  • Loss of reasoning ability or ability to solve problems
  • Depression
  • Dizziness, loss of balance
  • Loss of hearing

Other symptoms

  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Slurred speech
  • Trouble chewing and swallowing food
  • Facial pain
  • Chronic fatigue
Last UpdateSeptember 7, 2011


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