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As a potentially debilitating disease, multiple sclerosis (MS) can cause your body’s immune system to destroy the very protective sheath that covers your nerves. Eventually, this will hinder the communication between your brain and the rest of your body, sometimes resulting in an irreversible deterioration of nerves.
The symptoms of MS can vary depending on the amount of damage and which nerves are directly affected by this damage. In some cases, those with MS lose their ability to speak, walk, or use their limbs. While there is no course for multiple sclerosis, treatments can help change the course of the disease or address negative symptoms. Have you been diagnosed with MS? Need to apply for benefits under ERISA? Had a claim denied? Whatever the case, our ERISA attorney has the experience and insight to help.
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The Symptoms of MS
The symptoms an individual who has MS may experience can vary greatly. For example, those with severe multiple sclerosis may have more extreme symptoms like lack of mobility. This condition can be difficult to diagnose early on due to the fact that these symptoms can subside for long periods of time.
In general, an individual with MS may experience the following symptoms:
- Numbness / weakness in limbs (typically one side or the bottom half of the body)
- Loss of vision (sometimes partial)
- Pain with eye movement, known as optic neuritis
- Blurred vision / double vision
- Tingling or pain throughout different parts of the body
- Sensations of electric-shock with certain movements
- Lack of coordination
These symptoms may be triggered or worsened with an increase in body temperature. For many people with multiple sclerosis-especially in the beginning stages-will experience a sudden relapse of symptoms, followed by phases of total or partial remission. This is why the condition can be so challenging to correctly diagnose in the earlier phases of the disease.
Testing for MS
While MS is identified as an autoimmune disease, there is no known cause of the condition. As the body’s immune system begins to attack its own tissues, the myelin, or fatty substance that coats nerve fibers, is destroyed, exposing the brain and spinal cord and slowing down or blocking the messages that travel along that nerve. Doctors may use a spinal tap to determine if there are any abnormalities that may be linked to MS in a patient. An MRI or evoked potential test may be used to help determine if multiple sclerosis is the cause of your medical condition.