Optic neuritis is one of the multiple sclerosis symptoms that affect the person’s vision. It consists of an inflammation with an accompanying demyelization of cranial nerve number two which is the optic nerve. There is a blurring of the vision, loss of some, if not all, of the visible color, loss of visual acuity, complete or partial blindness, and its pathognomonic sign which is pain behind the eyes.
The central nervous system is the one that controls most, if not all, of the body’s activity and optimal functioning. Just a minor damage to the central nervous system or the CNS can produce a very wide range of symptoms. Multiple sclerosis is only one of the diseases that can result from the damaging of the central nervous system.
Most of the symptoms associated with multiple sclerosis are very unique. But having one of the symptoms does not immediately lead to the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, there has to be a collective onset of symptoms. Still, however, each and every one of these symptoms could be very life-threatening and deserves medical attention as soon as possible.
Another visual symptom is diplopia, which is only a medical term for double vision. Lesions that occur within the brainstem cause this double vision. It is unfortunate for those with multiple sclerosis that the brainstem is affected because it is where the cranial nerves for eye muscles are located, specifically the sixth cranial nerve or the abducens. In multiple sclerosis, the nerve that operates the lateral rectus muscle is affected, thus, pulling the eye outwards.
Nystagmus is yet another visual symptom associated with multiple sclerosis. It is the rapid and involuntary movement of the eyes. This symptom is predominantly obvious to others but is not immediately noticeable by the person with the complaint. It is like riding on a bus where the scenery just zooms past by.
Multiple sclerosis causes paresis. It is simply a medical term for partial or mild paralysis that is usually described as muscle weakness. According to research and studies, this muscle weakness is caused by the lesions that are formed along the motor nerve pathways.
Spasticity is comprised of involuntary muscle contractions that are not coordinated with the movement of the other muscles. In multiple sclerosis, the normal pattern of reverse contractions that occur between muscles is disrupted, which further leads to the contraction of many muscles at the exact same time. Since the transmission of sensation and control messages are not properly sent to the receiver, the muscles receive information and sensory feedback that is not at all appropriate.
Dysarthria is the medical term for speech problems. In multiple sclerosis, the muscles that are involved in controlling speaking or the nerves that control the corresponding muscles are destroyed. The resulting muscle weakness and incoordination give rise to dysarthria.
Paresthesia is described as a collection of abnormal sensations in just about every part of the body. It is composed of prickling, tingling, electrical-type buzzing, skin crawling, burning, or itching of any random part of the body. Paresthesia is most commonly referred to as pins and needles with the accompaniment of partial numbness and a variety of neuropathic pain.
Another sensory symptom associated with multiple sclerosis is the L’Hermitte’s sign. This is basically the electrical buzzing sensations that occur in the limbs and the body that is brought about by any movement of the neck. When the person with multiple sclerosis lowers the head part in a way that the chin touches the chest, L’Hermitte’s sign is triggered.