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A recent study cautions that early indicators of multiple sclerosis (MS) may include depression and constipation. Researchers from the American Academy of Neurology additionally propose that the onset of urinary tract infections (UTIs) might precede the identification of this autoimmune condition. The scientists elaborate that in certain illnesses, the fundamental mechanisms could start long before an official diagnosis is made.

Constipation, depression and UTIs could be early signs of MS

The study indicates that individuals who eventually develop multiple sclerosis tend to undergo conditions such as constipation, UTIs, and depression in the five years leading up to their diagnosis, in contrast to individuals who do not develop MS.

Also the study identified an increased probability of encountering sexual issues and bladder infections, specifically cystitis, among individuals who subsequently manifest symptoms of MS. Moreover, the symptoms were more prevalent in individuals diagnosed with other autoimmune disorders, like lupus and Crohn’s disease.

Being aware that these manifestations could serve as prodromal indications or initial symptoms of MS might not inherently result in a timelier identification of the ailment within the broader populace. This is elucidated by Professor Celine Louapre of Sorbonne University, the author of the study, in a press statement, emphasizing that these conditions are prevalent and may also indicate the presence of alternative medical conditions.

MS results in the body attacking its immune system

Nevertheless, this knowledge could prove beneficial for individuals with an elevated susceptibility to MS, including those with a familial predisposition or individuals exhibiting indications of MS in neuroimaging but lacking overt symptomatic manifestations.

Multiple sclerosis is a condition where the immune system attacks the protective covering of nerves, resulting in chronic symptoms like vision loss, pain, fatigue, and impaired coordination.

In a study involving 20,000 newly diagnosed MS patients and 54,790 participants, including non-MS individuals, Crohn’s disease, and lupus patients, researchers found significant associations. MS patients were 22% more likely to experience depression, 50% more likely for constipation, 38% for UTIs, 47% for sexual problems, and 21% for cystitis than non-MS individuals. The study analyzed medical records for 113 diseases and symptoms around diagnosis or matching date.