Actress Christina Applegate Has Multiple Sclerosis

Actress, dancer, and producer Christina Applegate is best known for her roles in Dead to MeMarried…with ChildrenSamantha Who?, and Up All Night. But now, she has revealed a new role: a member of the rare disease community. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Christina Applegate shared via Twitter, on August 10, a multiple sclerosis (MS) diagnosis.

Multiple Sclerosis

So what exactly is multiple sclerosis? This neurological disease occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks the protective covering of nerve cells (the myelin sheath). As the nerves and myelin become damaged, communication between the brain and body is inhibited. Typically, multiple sclerosis is considered either relapsing and remitting (periods of symptoms and periods of remission) or progressive (continuing without remission). Females are 2x more likely to develop multiple sclerosis than males. Typically, symptoms manifest between ages 20-40. Symptoms may include:

  • Loss of balance and coordination
  • Blurred or double vision
    • Note: Vision loss may also occur.
  • Tremor
  • Slurred speech and/or difficulty speaking
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Problems with sexual, bowel, or bladder function
  • Electric shock feelings, especially when bending the neck forward
  • Numbness or weakness in the limbs, which typically affects one side of the body first
  • Muscle cramping, stiffness, or rigidity
  • Pain (particularly in the eyes or back)

Christina Applegate

13 years ago, in 2008, Christina Applegate first faced a medical difficulty: a breast cancer diagnosis. However, she later reported herself as cancer-free following a double mastectomy. Now, Applegate is facing multiple sclerosis. According to Applegate’s tweets, she first received her diagnosis a few months ago. Although she is still learning about MS and where her journey will take her, she finds comfort in the fact that she knows others with MS. At the same time, the diagnosis is a lot to grapple with. While she has found support with friends and family, she has asked for privacy as she takes her next steps.

Jessica Lynn

Jessica Lynn

Jessica Lynn has an educational background in writing and marketing. She firmly believes in the power of writing in amplifying voices, and looks forward to doing so for the rare disease community.

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