Initial complaints

MS usually begins with a series of attacks (also known as exacerbations or relapses), each one followed by a period of (temporary) recovery. Doctors call this condition 'relapsing-remitting MS'. The following complaints are commonly found, singly or in combination, during these initial attacks:

Sensory disorders

A lack of feeling or an unusual feeling e.g. in both legs or hands, or in a single arm and/or leg. A tingling feeling ('pins and needles') or pain may also be felt in the affected areas.

Weakness or clumsiness

A lack of strength may be experienced in one of the limbs, it may be more difficult to perform certain manual tasks or the sense of balance may be disturbed while walking.

Visual defects

These are mainly due to optic neuritis (inflammation of the optic nerve). The main complaints are sudden partial or complete loss of vision or blurred vision in one eye. Movement of the affected eye is also often painful.