When presented with the terms “MS signs,” “MS symptoms,” and “MS indicators,” one may wonder why there is a need for three apparently synonymous terms. Is it a conspiracy on the part of medical professionals to keep laypeople confused? Why not just use one of them?
The answer to the above questions is simple. These different terms exist and are used because they present different nuances in the description of features of MS. Let us consider “MS indicators,” for instance. Multiple sclerosis indicators can be described as those signs that indicate that somebody is likely to develop multiple sclerosis. Looking at them in hindsight, some might think of them as the earliest symptoms of the patient’s deteriorating condition. Others may think of them as factors that announce the impending development of the disease.
As described above, MS indicators are those factors that suggest (before any diagnoses are confirmed) that a given patient is probably developing MS. However, it is possible for a patient with such indicators not to develop MS. Instead, he or she might develop another debilitating, neurological disorder that initially presents in a similar manner to MS, but is a distinct and separate condition.
Examples of MS Indicators
The importance of recognizing MS indicators is that doing so gives a patient the capacity to seek medical assistance early in the development of the disease if the diagnosis is confirmed. It is most ideal to begin the treatment of MS early in its progression, when the lesions are still few and not yet widespread. This can check the damage done to the nerve tissue and facilitate the repair of some if not most of the lesion-riddled tissue.
Tingling sensations and numbness in the limbs are among the indicators of MS. They may be accompanied by other symptoms, including blurry vision or, ultimately, the loss of vision in one eye. The earliest symptoms of MS can be associated with damage to the nerve tissue. Thus, blurry vision and eventual blindness are indicative of damage to the optic nerve. Problems such as tingling, numbness and, ultimately, the spasticity of muscle tissue, are also indicative of different forms of nerve damage that affect the capacity of the nerves to transmit messages between the brain and different types of bodily tissue.
MS tends to first strike when patients are aged between 20 and 40 years of age. Hence, one might think of the first-time appearance of some of the above symptoms when a patient is aged between 20 and 40 years old as a likely indicator of MS. It is important to note, however, that in rare cases, children can and do develop MS. In these children, fatigue is often one of the indicators of multiple sclerosis.