Multiple Sclerosis Affects the Central Nervous System

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.

Visual symptoms

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.

Motor symptoms

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.

Sensory symptoms

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.


About our Co-Founder: With a bachelors in Social Work, Linda is 53 years old, happily married with eight children and 17 grandchildren. Diagnosed with MS in 1995 and now having accepted and truly embraced her new reality, Linda has created She is dedicated to proving that joy can be chosen while living with Multiple Sclerosis. Linda specializes in helping others, especially those with MS attain the lifestyle, independence and happiness amid living with MS.


  1. a very informative post! From here I learned a lot about Sclerosis. I should thank you for sharing this. Keep it up.

  2. Hi Linda, thanks for this post. My mom has recently been diagnosed with MS and I am trying to learn as much about it as possible.

    • Damien,
      I’m sorry for your mom! MS effects everyone differently! Hopefully your mom will be one of those who breeze by! Has she decided to get right on an immunosuppressant? The National MS Society suggests we get on one of the drugs as soon as possible. Some people claim to have succeeded with diet and stress free (as much as possible) living. I wish I knew the answers!

  3. greetings, I run a world music blog for the love of world music, I think you may like where I am coming from.

  4. This is really bothering. How severe can really Multiple Sclerosis affect the condition of the central nervous system?

  5. I wonder too candice that how many serve in this Multiple Sclerosis because I’m really curious with this..

  6. Wow, amazing blog structure! How lengthy have you ever been running a blog for? you make running a blog look easy. The full look of your website is great, let alone the content!

  7. For the last 2 weeks ive been getting a burning sensation in my feet n hands. I also get daily headaches and feel pain behind my right eye and above it. I’ve had MS since ’03 and had optic neuritis about 7 times through the years and my vision is usually blurry. I haven’t seen my neuro in several months. I also suffer from depression, anxiety, ulcer, dizzyness, occasional insomnia and vertigo. I’m on 7the meds and I don’t see how anything will change. Do you think anything can be done for these sensations?

    • Rachel,
      I’m so sorry you are experiencing such NONSENSE! I totally feel for you! I have asked God why I have this ridiculous disease, why are some people healed with diet and others with Noni Juice, but not me! After accepting my new reality and finding purpose in my circumstance, I see that I’m in this position to help lift others in the same situation. I wish I had a magic wand and could take the pain and sickness away, unfortunately I can’t. We’re posting different tips and tricks that people in our situation are doing to help manage symptoms. I have just started taking calls to be a listening ear if you’d like to schedule time with me. I’m not a doctor or a certified therapist, I’m just a mom with MS. You’re welcome to schedule a time with me by visiting here: or you can simply look around here on and join in the conversation like you’re doing. Take care, Linda

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