A Study Shows Pain & Sleeplessness Symptoms Often Come First In MS Diagnosis

Symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS) are unpredictable. They can vary from person to person, and from time to time in the same person. Common symptoms of MS include fatigue, numbness, difficulty walking or maintaining balance, changes in sexual function, vision problems, problems with memory and thinking, and depression.

However, a new study reveals pain, sleep problems, and mental health disorders are common in the first 5 years before someone is even diagnosed with MS.

Knowing about these symptoms could help doctors diagnose and start treating MS earlier, possibly slowing the damage it causes to the brain and spinal cord says a Canadian team of researchers.

“The existence of such ‘warning signs’ are well-accepted for Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, but there has been little investigation into a similar pattern for MS,” said study leader Helen Tremlett, a professor of neurology at the University of British Columbia.

Her group tracked the health records of 14,000 Canadians with MS and a control group of 67,000 people without the disease.

Compared to the control group, fibromyalgia (a syndrome characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain) was three times more