Healthy Living

Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms: How Selma Blair’s Story Sheds Light On Condition

Actress Selma Blair bravely talked about her battle with multiple sclerosis (MS) and her struggles with its symptoms when she opened up about her condition for the first time on “Good Morning America” earlier this week.

The “Cruel Intentions” star first revealed her MS diagnosis last October via Instagram. In a lengthy post, Blair disclosed how hard it was facing the symptoms of the disease every day. She also detailed the heartbreaking moment when she informed her 7-year-old son about her condition. 

In her interview with “GMA” on Tuesday, Blair revealed that fellow actor Michael J. Fox, who was diagnosied with Parkinson’s disease in 1998, reached out to her following her MS diagnosis. She said that they’ve been having conversations and she’s looked up to the actor because he gives her hope in managing the disease.

Blair’s story is just one of the many MS sufferers. The National Institute of Health found that about 250,000 to 350,000 people are diagnosed with the condition in the U.S. Approximately 200 new cases are said to be diagnosed every week. Worldwide, more than 2.3 million have the disease.

MS is a disease of the brain and other parts of the central nervous system. It is characterized by the disruption of the flow of signals from the brain to the body and vice versa, according to National Multiple Sclerosis Society.  

The disruption leads to various symptoms with the most common being fatigue, walking difficulties, cognitive problems, blurred vision and weakness. Less common symptoms of MS include speech problems, tremors, seizures, hearing loss and breathing problems. 

MS patients experience manifestations of the disease differently. Some of them have mild symptoms and do not need treatment while others have serious problems that affect their daily living. Some people have unusual symptoms or progressive disease, and diagnosis is difficult for them. 

Unfortunately, there is no cure for MS, but there are ways to help ease the pain of patients. Steroids, for one, are administered to help combat certain pains caused by MS. MayoClinic recommends corticosteroids like oral prednisone and intravenous methylprednisolone help address flare-ups. Plasmapheresis or plasma exchange is also advised for severe symptoms that do not respond to steroids.

Selma Blair attends the 2019 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Pictured: Selma Blair, who was recently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, at the 2019 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, California on Feb. 24, 2019. Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images