I started to get tension headaches at the age of 14 yrs old and from the age of 17 yrs I had one every day to this day. Around 14/15 yrs of age I got glandular fever. At age 13 I had a head on collision car accident and broke my upper leg and thumb and spent 2 months in hospital. After that time I struggled with my health, especially my headaches. When I was diagnosed with MS 3 yrs ago it sort of solved the puzzle. I had my first attack 3 yrs ago with my eye. I am 43 yrs old now. My question is can you have MS for years without having an attack???? My neurologist said I have had MS for years. I think I've had it since around 17 yrs of age but I never had a attack, unless my headaches were a MS attack??
It is widely recognized now that MS usually exists for years if not decades before a person develops identifiable symptoms. There is even a new descriptive category for patients identified by random MRI scanning for other reasons (often headaches) during the asymptomatic stage, called a 'radiologically isolate syndrome' or RIS. Most recent studies suggest that about 1/3 of people with RIS will go on to develop clinically evident multiple sclerosis within relatively short follow-up periods. It is quite possible that the percentage of people with RIS who develop MS will increase as they are followed for more than a decade.
An MS diagnosis is frequently predated by unusual though non specific symptoms including headaches, tingling sensations, mental fogginess and fatigue. However, these symptoms are so common in otherwise healthy individuals as to render them of limited diagnostic utility in isolation.
Revere (Rip) Kinkel MD
Director of the Multiple Sclerosis Program
Professor of Clinical Neurosciences
University of California San Diego