How frequently is dizziness or vertigo a symptom of multiple sclerosis?

Updated: Mar 13, 2017
  • Author: Hesham M Samy, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Robert A Egan, MD  more...
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Multiple sclerosis is a disorder of recurrent, inflammatory CNS demyelination that is due to underlying autoimmune disease. The onset is usually at age 20-40 years. Episodes begin over hours to a few days and last weeks to months. Typical symptoms include the following:

  • Optic neuritis

  • Ocular motor dysfunction

  • Trigeminal neuralgia

  • Sensorimotor deficits

  • Myelopathy

  • Ataxia

  • Bladder dysfunction

Vertigo, at times mimicking vestibular neuronitis, is a presenting symptom in fewer than 10% of patients. Dizziness or vertigo occurs at some point in the course in one third of patients. Few patients present with hearing loss due to brainstem involvement.

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