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Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune neurological disease characterized by the destruction of the myelin sheaths (nerve insulators) on neurons in the central nervous system. Its symptoms can vary, but eye pain, difficulty balancing, and numbness, tingling, and weakness in limbs are common. Attacks are “multiple” over time and/or location in the nervous system.

Our evidence-based analysis on symptoms of multiple sclerosis features 2 unique references to scientific papers.

Research analysis led by and reviewed by the Examine team.
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Summary of Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis

Symptoms

Symptoms can vary depending on the location of demyelination. Below is a list of typical sites for lesions to form and their associated symptoms:[1]

Optic nerve

  • Optic neuritis

  • Pain when moving the eye

  • Blurred vision

Cerebellum

  • Instability/dizziness

Spinal cord

  • Weakness in limbs

  • Numbness or tingling in limbs

  • Short electric shock–like sensations

  • Muscle spasticity

Brain stem

  • Blurred or double vision

Bowel/bladder

  • Constipation

  • Increased need to urinate or urge incontinence

  • Erectile dysfunction

Additionally, the diffuse damage in normal appearing white matter (NAWM) and normal appearing gray matter (NAGM) can lead to cognitive dysfunction, which may include issues with:

  • Short-term memory

  • Attention

  • Processing speed

  • Visuospatial skills

  • Executive function

Notably, intellectual function and language typically aren’t affected.[2]

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Human Effect Matrix

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The Human Effect Matrix looks at human studies to tell you what supplements affect Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis.

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Grade Level of Evidence
Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials
Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled
Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies
Uncontrolled or observational studies only
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The more evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Supplement Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
Notes
grade-a Minor Very High See all 20 studies
Oral cannabis extract appears to modestly reduce pain and bladder dysfunction, while Nabiximols doesn't appear to be effective. For spasticity symptoms, neither of these products shows a clinically significant effect on an objective rating scale, though participants report modest subjective improvements. The effects of cannabis on cognitive symptoms are unclear.
grade-c Minor - See study
Some symptoms associated with multiple sclerosis are noted to be reduced with carnitine ingestion.
grade-c Minor Very High See 2 studies
Memory impairment in multiple sclerosis may be attenuated with supplementation of modafinil (250mg armodafinil), although other cognitive impairments associated with MS do not appear significantly affected.

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