Symptoms of MS can range from mild to disabling, and symptoms usually begin between age 20 and 40 with blurred or double vision. Many people with MS also experience muscle weakness in their limbs, tingling or numbness, fatigue, and difficulty with coordination and balance, all of which can cause issues with walking and standing.
As the disease progresses, people with MS may develop muscle stiffness, dizziness, pain, speech problems, cognitive impairments, and urinary problems. Less common symptoms include tremors, blindness, and paralysis. Two-thirds of people with MS continue to be able to walk, though they may need help from a device such as a cane for stability or a wheelchair due to fatigue or balance issues.
People with MS may experience relapses, or times when their symptoms flare up or new symptoms start, as well as periods of remission, times when symptoms are more mild. As the disease progresses, they may no longer have times of remission. A small percentage, about 15% of people with MS, do not experience any periods of remission but rather a more slow-and-steady progression of the disease from the onset.