At what age do the symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS) appear?

Dr. Louis Rosner
There is no question that multiple sclerosis (MS) has a specific age of onset when symptoms first appear. MS rarely strikes before age ten or after age fifty, and symptoms generally appear between ages twenty and forty. Statistically, the average age of onset is twenty-eight, and the average age of diagnosis is thirty-three. (The average age of onset is slightly lower for women than men.)
Multiple Sclerosis

More About this Book

Multiple Sclerosis

Too often, multiple sclerosis is thought of only as "the crippler of young adults." But in fact, 75 percent of all people with MS will never need a wheelchair. In Multiple Sclerosis, Dr. Louis J....

Most people with multiple sclerosis (MS) begin experiencing symptoms between the ages of 20 and 50. But initial symptoms may be vague, may come and go with no pattern or may be attributed to other factors or conditions. For instance, a woman who experiences sudden bouts of vertigo once every few months may explain away the symptom by linking it to her menstrual cycle. Or, perhaps, someone who suddenly has a bit of blurry vision may blame too many hours at the office.

This content originally appeared on

Continue Learning about Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms

Which Stress Relievers Work for Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms?
Which Stress Relievers Work for Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms?
Even if you’ve been living with MS for several years, it can still be stressful. In this video, integrative neurologist Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary offers h...
Read More
Is depression a symptom of multiple sclerosis?
Dr. Charles R. Smith, MDDr. Charles R. Smith, MD
Depression is common among multiple sclerosis patients, says neurologist Charles Smith, MD. It's not...
More Answers
What are the motor symptoms of a spinal cord attack of MS?
Angela Mark, MDAngela Mark, MD
If the spinal cord lesion is in the cervical spine (i.e. neck) the motor symptoms will be weakness i...
More Answers
What Is the Difference Between Relapsing-Remitting and Progressive MS?
What Is the Difference Between Relapsing-Remitting and Progressive MS?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.