To date, it is unclear why some people develop MS and others do not, but environmental and genetic factors may play a role. Because it is not entirely clear why MS occurs, it is no surprise that myths have arisen and persisted.
When you have multiple sclerosis (MS), damage to the nerve fibers in the central nervous system (and the myelin coating around them) causes the signals between your brain, spinal cord, and the rest of your body go awry, according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS). This interference in the transmission of nerve signals is what causes the symptoms of MS.
While symptoms vary greatly from person to person, and can get better or worse over time, more common symptoms include fatigue, walking (gait) difficulties, numbness or tingling, spasticity, weakness, vision problems, dizziness, bladder and bowel problems, sexual problems, pain, cognitive and emotional changes, and depression, per the NMSS.
However, there are also some less common symptoms of MS.
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By Beth W. Orenstein
Medically Reviewed by Jason Paul Chua, MD, PhD
Last Updated: May 10, 2021
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