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March 5-11 is MS Awareness Week!

What is Multiple Sclerosis?

MS is a progressive, “immune-mediated” disorder. That means the system designed to keep your body healthy mistakenly attacks parts of your body that are vital to everyday function. The protective coverings of nerve cells are damaged, which leads to diminished function in the brain and spinal cord.

Signs & Symptoms

Pain areas: in the back or eyes

Pain circumstances: can occur in the back due to head nod or with eye movement

Tremor: can occur during precise movements, in the hands, or limbs

Muscular: cramping, inability to rapidly change motions, involuntary movements, muscle paralysis, muscle rigidity, muscle weakness, problems with coordination, stiff muscles, clumsiness, muscle spasms, or overactive reflexes

Whole body: fatigue, dizziness, heat intolerance, poor balance, vertigo, or weakness

Sensory: pins and needles, abnormality of taste, reduced sensation of touch, or uncomfortable tingling and burning

Urinary: excessive urination at night, leaking of urine, persistent urge to urinate, or urinary retention

Visual: blurred vision, double vision, or vision loss

Sexual: erectile dysfunction or sexual dysfunction

Mood: anxiety or mood swings

Speech: slurred speech or impaired voice

Also common: constipation, depression, difficulty swallowing, difficulty thinking and understanding, flare, headache, heavy legs, limping, numbness of face, rapid involuntary eye movement, sleep deprivation, tongue numbness, or difficulty raising the foot

Consult a doctor for medical advice


A doctor, most likely a neurologist will perform several tests to diagnose MS, including:

  • neurological exam: your doctor will check for impaired nerve function

  • eye exam: a series of tests to evaluate your vision and check for eye diseases

  • magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): a technique that uses a powerful magnetic field and radio waves to create cross-sectional images of the brain and spinal cord

  • spinal tap (also called a lumbar puncture): remove a sample of fluid circulating around your brain and spinal cord

The best defense against MS is seeing your doctor immediately after you experience the first warning signs. This is especially important if someone in your immediate family has the disorder, as it’s one of the key risk factors for MS.

To schedule an appointment call (910) 295-6868 or to learn more visit:

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