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Check Your Symptoms in 30 Seconds

Do you
have MS?

In 30 seconds find out if you might have MS by clicking on all of the symptoms that apply.

The patient might experience complete / partial recovery of symptoms followed by more episodes of new or worsening symptoms. Hence please also click those symptoms which you may have experienced in the past. The gap between episodes varies from a few days to even a few years.

Experiencing any of the above symptoms indicate that you may suffer from MS, however please consult your neurologist for a confirmed diagnosis.

Disclaimer: Diagnosis of MS is only done by a qualified Neurologist. The purpose of the above screening is only to help potential patients reach the appropriate doctors at their nearest location.

Understanding
Multiple Sclerosis

What is MS

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease of the central nervous system (CNS), which includes the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves. It is usually thought of as a single disease, but its course and symptoms vary from person to person.

MS is a chronic and debilitating disease in which the immune system abnormally attacks the insulation and support around the nerve cells (myelin sheath) in the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves, causing inflammation and consequent damage.

This damage severely impacts the quality of life of patients, and they may experience various symptoms such as blurry vision, temporary loss of eyesight, feeling of tingling and numbness, muscle weakness, pain and imbalance, problems with movement and coordination, inability to focus and think, difficulty in holding urine, sexual dysfunction and frequent fatigue. Not all such symptoms are present in every patient but may vary from person to person. If left untreated the disease progresses, leading to permanent disability.

There is no cure for MS, however recent advancements have resulted in the development of new treatments that may substantially reduce disease activity and slow down progression.

It is very important that MS is diagnosed and treated as early as possible. Early treatment can slow disease progression, and may help patients lead a normal life during their productive years.

Find a Neurologist

Who Gets MS

MS is a leading cause of non-traumatic disability in young people. The exact cause of MS is unknown.

It often strikes people in their prime and deprives them from performing their routines and pursuing their aspirations.

20
years
to
40
years
MS is commonly diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 40
Twice more common in women than men
MS is twice more common in women than men
2.3 million
Approximately 2.3 million or 1 in 3,000 people in the world have MS

It is very important that MS is diagnosed and treated as early as possible. Early treatment can slow disease progression, and may help patients lead a normal life during their productive years.

Find a Neurologist

Symptoms of MS

Symptoms can affect nearly every part of the body and the mind.

90%
Up to 90% of people with MS experience fatigue
50%
Within 15 years of onset, more than 50% of people with MS have difficulty walking
20%
Vision difficulties are common, and a first symptom in 15-20% of people with MS
80%
At least 80% of people with MS experience bladder issues
2x
Depression is approximately 2x more likely in people with MS
2x
Sleep problems are twice as likely in people with MS

In addition to the above, feeling of tingling and numbness, muscle weakness, pain, problems with movement and coordination, inability to focus and think, and sexual dysfunction are also symptoms common in MS. The patient might experience complete / partial recovery of symptoms followed by more episodes of new or worsening symptoms.

It is very important that MS is diagnosed and treated as early as possible. Early treatment can slow disease progression, and may help patients lead a normal life during their productive years.

Find a Neurologist

Forms of MS

MS has three forms.

RRMS Relapsing-remitting MS

RRMS (Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis) is the most common disease course; about 85% of people with MS are diagnosed with RRMS. It is characterized by clearly defined attacks of new or increasing neurological symptoms. These attacks – also called relapses – are followed by periods of partial or complete recovery (remissions). During remissions, all symptoms may disappear, or some symptoms may continue and become permanent. However, there is no apparent progression of the disease during the periods of remission.

SPMS Secondary progressive MS

SPMS (Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis) follows an initial relapsing-remitting course. Most people who are diagnosed with RRMS will eventually transition to a secondary progressive course in which there is a progressive worsening of neurological function (accumulation of disability) over time. SPMS can be further characterized at different points in time as either active (with relapses and/ or evidence of new MRI activity) or not active, as well as with progression (evidence of disease worsening over time, with or without relapses) or without progression.

PPMS Primary progressive MS

PPMS (Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis) is characterized by worsening neurological function (accumulation of disability) from the onset of symptoms, without early relapses or remissions. Approximately 15% of people with MS are diagnosed with PPMS. It can be further characterized at different points in time as either active or not active, as well as with progression or without progression.

How are the forms of MS similar?

Underlying Biology

Underlying Biology

In every form of MS, the immune system attacks nerve cells in the CNS, which can cause symptoms and disability.

Disease Course

The EDSS (Expanded Disability Status Scale) is a clinical rating scale used to assess disability in MS.

Over time disability progresses in all three forms of MS. Check with your neurologist to assess your status on the EDSS.

Disease Course

It is very important that MS is diagnosed and treated as early as possible. Early treatment can slow disease progression, and may help patients lead a normal life during their productive years.

Find a Neurologist

Symptoms

Symptoms

Symptoms are similar across all forms of MS, but differ for each person, no matter which form.

Most people with RRMS and PPMS experience an increase in physical disability at some point in time.

Disease Activity

Disease Activity

Disease activity may be outwardly apparent with new or worsening signs or symptoms, or underlying, such as lesions (inflamed or damaged areas of the central nervous system) that are detected with special equipment like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Course of RRMS, SPMS & PPMS

Following are graphical illustrations of disease progression in the three forms of MS.

Relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS)

Secondary progressive MS (SPMS)

How are the forms of MS different?

Best viewed in landscape mode

Forms of MS at diagnosis

Primary progressive MS (PPMS) PPMS is a highly disabling form of the disease. Approximately 15% of people with MS are diagnosed with PPMS.
Relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) RRMS is the most common form of the disease. Approximately 85% of people with MS are initially diagnosed with RRMS.
Relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS)
Primary progressive MS (PPMS)

Age at diagnosis

Primary progressive MS (PPMS) PPMS is usually diagnosed 10 years later than RRMS, after a steady decline in physical abilities can be identified and other diseases can be ruled out. This means diagnosis most often occurs in people in their 40s and 50s.
Relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) RRMS is usually diagnosed when people are in their 20s and 30s.
Relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS)
Primary progressive MS (PPMS)

Course of the disease

Primary progressive MS (PPMS) PPMS is a debilitating form of the disease marked by steadily worsening symptoms, typically without distinct relapses or periods of remission. However, some people with PPMS do experience relapses. PPMS tends to be more disabling than RRMS. The accumulation of irreversible disability is twice as high in PPMS than in RRMS, which can mean people with PPMS rely more on mobility aids or wheelchairs.
Relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) RRMS is characterised by episodes of new or worsening signs or symptoms (relapses) followed by periods of recovery (remission). The recovery between relapses may be complete or may leave lingering problems.
Relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS)
Primary progressive MS (PPMS)

Symptoms

Primary progressive MS (PPMS) The most commons symptoms in PPMS include progressive weakness, mobility issues and spasticity. These symptoms are not unique to PPMS but tend to be more persistent and difficult to manage. People may also have more problems thinking and speaking compared to people with RRMS. There is a sharp decrease in quality of life following arm function loss, which may happen earlier in people with PPMS.
Relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) The most common symptoms in RRMS include episodic bouts of fatigue, numbness, vision problems, spasticity or stiffness, and bowel and bladder problems.
Relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS)
Primary progressive MS (PPMS)

Disease activity

Primary progressive MS (PPMS) People with PPMS usually have a lower number of active lesions (new inflamed or damaged areas of the central nervous system) than people with RRMS, and more spinal cord lesions that may lead to walking problems.
Relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) People with RRMS often have more active lesions (new inflamed or damaged areas of the central nervous system) than people with PPMS.
Relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS)
Primary progressive MS (PPMS)

Unmet clinical need

Primary progressive MS (PPMS) PPMS is a highly disabling disease, therefore treatment should be based on clinical need and initiated as early as possible. Recent advancements have resulted in the development of new treatments that may substantially reduce disease activity and slow down progression. Consult your neurologist to find out if you have PPMS, as early management may help to control this disease.
Relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) People with RRMS continue to experience disease activity and worsening disability, and treatment should be initiated as early as possible. Recent advancements have resulted in the development of new treatments that may substantially reduce disease activity and slow down progression. Consult your neurologist to find out if you have RRMS, as early management may help to control this disease.
Relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS)
Primary progressive MS (PPMS)

References

  1. Murray TJ. (2006). Diagnosis and treatment of multiple sclerosis. BMJ, 322 (7540):525-527.
  2. Multiple Sclerosis International Federation. (2013). Atlas of MS 2013. Available at: http://www.msif.org/about-us/advocacy/atlas/.
  3. MS International Federation. What is MS? Available at http://www.msif.org/about-ms/what-is-ms/.
  4. Simpson S, et al. (2011) Latitude is significantly associated with the prevalence of multiple sclerosis: a meta-analysis. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry, 82(10):1132-1141.
  5. National Institutes of Health-National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. (2015). Multiple Sclerosis: Hope Through Research. Available at: https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Hope-Through-Research/Multiple-Sclerosis-Hope-Through-Research.
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  7. Souza A, et al. (2010) Multiple sclerosis and mobility-related assistive technology: systematic review of the literature. J Rehabil Res Dev, 47:213–223.
  8. National Multiple Sclerosis Society. (2010). Gait or Walking Problems. Available at: http://www.nationalmssociety.org/NationalMSSociety/media/MSNationalFiles/Brochures/Brochure-Gait-or-Walking-Problems.pdf.
  9. United States Department of Veterans Affairs. Visual Dysfunction in Multiple Sclerosis. Available at: http://www.va.gov/MS/Veterans/symptom_management/Visual_Dysfunction_in_Multiple_Sclerosis.asp.
  10. National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Bladder Problems. Available at: http://www.nationalmssociety.org/Symptoms-Diagnosis/MS-Symptoms/Bladder-Dysfunction/
  11. Siegert RJ, Abernethy DA. (2005). Depression in multiple sclerosis: a review. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry, 76:469–475.
  12. Lobentanz IS, et al. (2004). Factors influencing quality of life in multiple sclerosis patients: Disability, depressive mood, fatigue and sleep quality. Acta Neurologica Scandinavica, 110:6–13.
  13. National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Types of MS. Available at http://www.nationalmssociety.org/What-is-MS/Types-of-MS.
  14. Lublin F.D. et al. (2014). Defining the clinical course of multiple sclerosis. Neurology, 83(3),278-86.
  15. National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Managing Relapses. Available at: http://www.nationalmssociety.org/Treating-MS/Managing-Relapses.
  16. Erbayat A, et al. (2013). Reliability of classifying multiple sclerosis disease activity using magnetic resonance imaging in a multiple sclerosis clinic. JAMA Neurol, 70(3):338-44.
  17. Lublin et al., 2014.