As multiple sclerosis is a disease that affects the central nervous system the answer to "What are early multiple sclerosis symptoms?" is not going to be the same for everyone. The disease itself attacks the myelin sheath surrounding the spinal cord and the brain differently for every person that is diagnosed. Because of this the symptoms themselves can manifest in many different ways. In general the first time a person experiences an episode or exacerbation is between the ages of 20 and 40.
What are Early Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms that are Obvious?
Rather than asking "What are early multiple sclerosis symptoms", you might be better off asking what the most clear and easily recognizable symptoms are. The symptoms that occur are dependent upon where the lesions associated with MS are and how much damage they have done. However, here are the most commonly recognized symptoms of the disease:
- Balance and Coordination: This is most seen as the person having difficulty walking and manifests as an unsteady gait and keeping their balance. It can also be seen as tremors in the hands making it hard to grasp and control small objects.
- Tingling and Numbness: The patient will feel a burning or tingling sensation in their limbs or they may feel numb. They may also experience feelings of intense heat or cold. If L'Hermmitte's sign is present a burning electrical shock may be felt running down the back and legs when they bend their neck forward.
- Muscle Weakness or Spasticity: At times the patient may feel a certain level of weakness in his limbs or they might feel heavy and cause unusual clumsiness. Many patients also experience muscle spasms especially in their legs.
- Vision Problems: These range from inflammation of the optic nerve known as Optic Neuritis to blurred or double vision. Temporary loss of sight can occur and extremely rarely sight can be lost permanently.
- Fatigue: This is considered to be the number one early symptom of MS and is also the most debilitating. While it may only occur in up to 20% of all patients in the early stages, as the disease advances, all patients will have to contend with excessive fatigue.
This is a basic list to answer the question "What are early multiple sclerosis symptoms?" Again as the disease affects every patient differently, if you experience any of these symptoms you should seek medical testing to begin diagnostic testing. The only chance you have to overcome this potentially devastating disease is to start treating it as early as possible.