This page about multiple sclerosis or MS symptoms expands on the General Signs page, to give a greater level of detail of each symptom and explain where relevant how it has affected me. My initial plan for this page was to keep it factual and formal but discovered I don’t really know enough about the medical background of these symptoms so I can only really relate my personal experiences. Hopefully I have kept it reasonably factual and not too anecdotal.

Detailed anecdotal account of multiple sclerosis, MS symptoms a chronic illnessMS Symptoms in Detail

Ataxia
In-coordination of the limbs results in unsteadiness when walking, but may affect the upper body affecting eyes, speech and arms.
Brain Fog
Inability to concentrate, absent-mindedness, lack of spatial awareness. Not to mention the many ‘senior moments’ that everyone gets occasionally. This perhaps one of the most common MS Symptoms.
Optic Neuritis
Blurred Vision, Eye Pain, Loss of Colour Vision, Blindness. Any of these conditions can be very debilitating and extremely frightening. I have not suffered eye pain or loss of colour vision but I frequently have blurred vision even during periods of remission and endured near blindness for a period of several weeks during an early relapse.
Diplopia
Double Vision. Not so unnerving as neuritis but can be very unsettling. Prolonged bouts can be nauseating, and I found relief only by wearing an eye-patch over one eye. It didn’t seem to matter which eye.
Movement & Sound Phosphenes
Flashing Lights when moving eyes or in response to a sudden noise. I often get this  at night when in bed trying to fall asleep. Bright flashes of light or even ghostly apparition-like glows from the far side of the room.
Paresis, Monoparesis, Paraparesis, Hemiparesis, Quadraparesis
Muscle Weakness. This may occur in the arms or the legs and, I feel, is closely associated with motor control problems.
Spasticity
Stiffness or pain and a restriction of free movement of affected limbs. Muscles are contracted involuntarily.
Dysarthria
Slurred Speech. I find this more embarrassing than debilitating. I can hear myself, and I sound like some kind of a moron when it gets particularly bad. For some reason it appears to be worse when on the telephone. An outwardly obvious and embarrassing one of the MS Symptoms.
Dysphasia, Aphasia
Impairment of communications. In severe case the term Aphasia is used.
Dysphagia
A difficulty swallowing, may lead to inhalation of food particles or liquid and cause choking.
Muscle Atrophy
Muscle wastage from lack of use. I can vouch for this, from being an active runner, badminton and squash player and a competitive windsurfer with good solid legs to an inactive stick insect.
Myoclonus, Myokymia
Twitching muscles. This one keeps me awake at night. I have no trouble with twitching muscles throughout the day, but as soon as I retire at night and start to drift off to sleep the legs start twitching, sometime quite violently, which makes me jump wide awake again.
Fasciculation
Don’t know this one from personal experience, but I’ve heard it described as dimpling of the muscles.
Equinovarus Spasticity
Footdrop, Foot drags when walking. Coincidentally, this morning, I had a visit from a friend who has primary progressive multiple sclerosis and suffers from, amongst other things, footdrop. He was wearing a device bandaged around his leg with a wire running to a sensor in his shoe, which he told me was called FES – Functional Electrical Stimulation. This detects when he lifts his foot which causes a tiny electrical signal to be sent to his leg causing an involuntary lifting of the foot. This, apparently, helps him a great deal.
Paresthesia
Numbness and tingling. One of my earliest symptoms, which at the time was only in the extremities of hands and feet.
Frequent Micturition, Bladder Spasticity
Urinary Urgency. Makes it difficult to venture too far from a toilet as you really don’t know when you will need to empty your bladder. Frustrating as you may feel an urgent need which could last several hours before it develops into a real need.
Erectile Dysfunction
The inability to achieve or maintain an erection, sometimes called impotence. As MS symptoms go, you can be sure this is the least talked about.
Frigidity
The inability to become sexually aroused. Somewhat different from erectile dysfunctionality where arousal exists but the physical response does not.
Anorgasmy
Inability to achieve orgasm. Often associated with a lack of sensory feeling in the genitalia.
Retrograde Ejaculation
Ejaculating into the bladder. Apparently this is a bladder problem as the bladder opening is not sealing closed at the point of ejaculation to prevent the semen entering the bladder.
UPDATE – Prostate Enlargement can cause this when the urethra is constricted
Constipation
Difficulty with bowel movements. I have a pet theory on this, as I believe it to be a form of muscle spasm. The muscle of the sphincter goes into spasm, or a form of cramp, causing the sphincter to clamp shut effectively closing the door to any bowel movement.
Fecal Urgency
Bowel urgency. Along the same lines as Urinary Urgency and can be especially difficult if coupled with constipation.
Uhthoff’s Symptom or Uhtoff’s Phenomenon
Increase in MS symptom severity with heat. My vision is particularly sensitive to this giving me very blurred vision as soon as my body temperature rises. The level of blurring being in almost direct proportion to the temperature rise.
Romberg’s Sign
Patient sways or falls over when eyes are closed. A test for an underlying condition.
Gastroesophageal Reflux
Where the lower oesophageal sphincter fails to close properly allowing stomach acids to reflux into the oesophagus causing heartburn
Impaired Taste or Smell
A lesion on the  trigeminal nerve may interfere with the perceived sensation of taste or smell.
Sleeping Disorders
Problems regulating body temperature. Do you ever lie in bed at night shivering with cold and pull up the duvet extra close only to find that five minutes later you are perspiring like mad and have to throw the duvet off? Perhaps worse, you may be perspiring madly but still feel uncomfortably cold and wonder why you can’t sleep.
Lhermitte’s Sign
Bending of the neck can cause an electrical sensation to run down the spine.
Hoffman’s Sign
Tapping the fingernail of the third or fourth finger produces a reflex action in the thumb.
Holmes’ Sign
Patient is unable to react quickly to a suddenly removed resistance when pushing with an arm or a leg.
Vertigo
Dizziness closely associated with imbalance. This is one of the very common MS symptoms.
Concentration Lapses
Difficulty with problem solving and an inability to maintain concentration for any period of time. (see Brain Fog)
Trigeminal Neuralgia
Also called Tic Douloureux, Inflammation or constriction of the fifth cranial nerve that can cause intense pain around the face. Stabbing or electric-shock like pains to the scalp, forehead, eyes or around the cheeks and jaws. Considered by many to be the most painful affliction known to medicine.
Temperature Sense Reversal
Where the extremities experience temperature in reverse. Hot objects feel cold and cold objects feel hot.

MS Details AnecdotalThis list of MS symptoms is not exhaustive, they are merely conditions I can relate to. Multiple Sclerosis symptoms have many manifestations and can occur in varying degrees of severity with different individuals. Any of the above, or other, symptoms should be referred to your GP or neurologist. Additionally, any one of these symptoms on its own is not indicative or a confirmation of the disease Multiple Sclerosis.

A very interesting post on Healthline puts it far more eloquently than I do:

16 Early Signs of Multiple Sclerosis

I should reiterate that having one or more of these symptoms does not constitute a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. I you suspect that you may have this debilitating disease you must consult a clinical specialist.

Read More:

Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis: The Evidence-Based 7 Step Recovery Program – George Jelinek
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Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis Cookbook: Delicious Recipes for Living Well – Ingrid Adelsberger
[amazon template=book view details&asin=1760113743]

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2 thoughts on “MS Symptoms in Detail A plethora of neurological dysfunctions

  • February 29, 2016 at 6:36 am
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    Thank you for a list of these sclerosis symptoms. As a patient friend, I found a lot of symptoms like my friend’s. If you can solve these symptoms in another article, that is very good. I hope to read more about this article.

    • February 29, 2016 at 8:21 am
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      If I could cure the symptoms I would have cured MS. I used to be clever and could fix all manner of things and THEN MS wasted my brain.

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