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

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

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....

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 poor digestion a common complaint among MS patients?
Kulreet Chaudhary, MDKulreet Chaudhary, MD
Poor digestion is one of the most common multiple sclerosis symptoms. In this WisePatient video, I w...
More Answers
Why does multiple sclerosis (MS) often cause muscle weakness?
Multiple Sclerosis FoundationMultiple Sclerosis Foundation
Muscle weakness can occur in multiple sclerosis (MS) as a result of slowing or loss of nerve impulse...
More Answers
What Is Multiple Sclerosis?
What Is Multiple Sclerosis?

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.