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Multiple Sclerosis is a difficult disease with a multitude of symptoms – some of them manageable, some not, some “ordinary” and some strange. One of the strange symptoms of MS is tongue numbness.

It’s needless to say, that tongue numbness is something that doesn’t happen very often, and when it does, it poses and raises a lot of questions. This especially since the tongue is our only speech organ, and when one’s tongue is numb for long periods of time, one indubitably fears that he or she is going to lose his or her ability to speak. 

The question is: is tongue numbness normal in MS?

The answer isn’t a simple one, as multiple sclerosis is not a simple disease. However, in order to find an answer we must look into the illnesses’ processes.

As it is well known, multiple sclerosis is a demyelinating illness. Myelin is a substance that covers the axons of nerves. The nerves, transfer electrical impulses to various parts of the body to perform actions, and electrical impulses are processed and interpreted by the brain. Multiple Sclerosis is an autoimmune disease, which means that one’s immune system attacks its own body. In the case of Multiple Sclerosis, the immune system attacks the myelin coating, which leads to poor nerve functioning, more precisely the electrical impulses have a hard time reaching their destination intact. Since one’s nervous system controls the whole body, is only natural to experience several symptoms, some more severe than others, including muscle weakness and numbness - the tongue is a muscle.


When it comes to tongue numbness, this is linked to the functioning of cranial nerves – which are also prone to be attacked at some degree by MS.  The cranial nerves are 12 pairs of nerves on the surface of the brain, and these nerves have the function to bring information from the sense organs to the brain and vice-versa.  There are four nerves involved in tongue movement and feeling, the Trigeminal Nerve,  the Facial Nerve, the Glossopharyngeal Nerve and the Hypoglossal Nerve . It’s needless to say that these nerves are affected by the demyelination process, and when this happens, tongue numbness, tongue tingling sensations and other symptoms can occur.

 

So, what does one have to do when this happens?

 

It’s needless to say that this is a neurological problem cause by multiple sclerosis, and the best option is to consult a healthcare specialist.

 

Needless to say, there are cases when MS isn’t responsible for tongue numbness, as this can also be a sign or symptom of another disease. This is again, a situation where a healthcare specialist needs to be consulted, as he or she is the best person to offer assistance, help and treatment.

 

No matter the case, tongue numbness is something very unpleasant, and can be scary. But, there are treatments and solutions, so there is no need for those that experience it think that this is the end of the world.

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