Christina Applegate was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis “a few months ago,” the actor revealed on Twitter today.
“Hi friends. A few months ago I was diagnosed with MS. It’s been a strange journey,” Applegate wrote. “But I have been so supported by people that I know who also have this condition. It’s been a tough road. But as we all know, the road keeps going. Unless some asshole blocks it.”
Applegate, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008, didn’t give too many other details about her symptoms or her diagnosis.
Multiple sclerosis can start with mild symptoms, which may then ebb and flow as the disease progresses. Some of the early signs of MS include fatigue, sleep issues, muscle weakness, depression, and numbness or tingling (most commonly in the legs). The exact symptoms someone with MS might experience can vary from person to person.
Experts don’t know exactly what causes MS, but they do know that it’s a condition in which the immune system attacks the body’s own nerve tissues, the Mayo Clinic explains. Specifically, the body attacks the fatty myelin sheaths that surround the nerves. Normally the myelin sheaths insulate and protect the nerve fibers. Without that protective shell, the messages the body sends along the nerves don’t travel as quickly or as well. Eventually that can lead to permanent nerve damage.
Although there is no cure for MS, it’s possible to manage the symptoms with medications including corticosteroids, the Mayo Clinic says. The right treatment course for a particular patient depends on the severity of their symptoms and the type of MS they have, which may be relapsing-remitting, primary-progressive, or secondary-progressive, for instance.
After revealing her diagnosis, Applegate went on to say she remembers the words of a friend who also has MS. “‘We wake up and take the indicated action,’” she wrote. “And that’s what I do. So now I ask for privacy. As I go through this thing. Thank you xo.”