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Symptoms and Causes of Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Symptoms

Symptoms vary greatly from person to person, over time and in intensity. Symptoms of multiple sclerosis can include:

  • Bladder problems (frequent urination, urgency)
  • Depression
  • Dizziness or vertigo
  • Fatigue
  • Impaired coordination (ataxia)
  • Sensory symptoms (numbness, pain)
  • Spasticity (muscle stiffness or spasms)
  • Temperature sensitivity – worsening of MS symptoms by heat
  • Tremors
  • Trouble with short-term memory and concentration
  • Visual symptoms (optic neuritis, association with pain and eye movement, double vision)
  • Weakness

Causes of Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

The exact cause of MS is unknown. It appears to be an autoimmune disease in which the immune system is stimulated to attack myelin in the central nervous system.

The source of the initial stimulus has not been clearly identified. In certain people who inherit a predisposition to MS, the trigger may be infections (such as viruses) or other factors in the environment. Individuals may also have a genetic predisposition for developing the disease as people with family members diagnosed with MS are at a slightly higher risk.

Request an Appointment

For more information about the symptoms and causes of MS, request an appointment with our doctors.


Related Links

MS Awareness: Mark Roeder with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and Dr. Peter Calabresi from Johns Hopkins’ MS Center talk research and fund raising events on WBAL-TV.

Hopkins and dreamMakerS host A Day for Families Living with MS: Baltimore Sun coverage

Experimental Drug Improves Memory in Mice with Multiple Sclerosis

Using The Eye As A ‘Window Into The Brain’

Low Vitamin D Levels Linked to More Severe Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms

Learn more about the relationship between multiple sclerosis and transverse myelitis at Project RESTORE.
Project RESTORE team


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