Multiple sclerosis is a disease related to the CNS. Under this condition, myelin, a layer that protects the nerve fibres, is attacked by the immune system. In the event, the affected part becomes inflamed or lesions develop. In other words, the immune system starts attacking the very body it is supposed to protect. This can make it difficult for the brain to regulate signals to the rest of the nervous system.
There are four types of multiple sclerosis disorders:
- Relapsing-remitting multiple Sclerosis (RRMS)
- Clinically isolated syndrome (CIS)
- Primary-progressive multiple Sclerosis (PPMS)
- Secondary-progressive multiple Sclerosis (SPMS)
This type of sclerosis includes a clear decline of disease activity. Symptoms may disappear for some time, but it is an incurable disease that may reoccur. Symptoms may be mild or may totally disappear during remission. At the time of onset of multiple sclerosis, RRMS is the most common form.
Under CIS, one episode of symptoms occurs due to demyelination in the CNS. This episode should last for at least 14 hours. There are two types of episodes of symptoms—monofocal and multifocal. When there is one lesion causing the symptoms, it is known as a monofocal episode. Where there are two or more lesions causing the symptoms, it is known as a multifocal episode. These episodes are the main characteristics of MS, but they cannot be used for a quick diagnosis.
Under PPMS, neurological functions are rapidly affected and become gradually worse with the onset of the symptoms. Short spans of stability in between symptoms may occur. Recently, doctors have started using the terms “active” and “not active” to describe the status of disease activity.
This type of MS occurs when RRMS changes into a progressive form. It is difficult to observe relapses. Gradually, the disease leads to a worsening of body functions.
Early signs of MS
Given below are four common early symptoms of MS:
- Numbness of legs, arms, and one side of the face may occur frequently, causing abnormal sensations.
- Your legs may feel weak and your balance may be a bit off, making you trip easily. Even walking could become difficult.
- Your eyesight may be affected, characterised by blurry vision or even partial vision loss. You may experience pain in your eyes.
- You may also experience lack of coordination.
These are the different types of MS and some early symptoms a patient may experience at the onset of the disease.