Symptom Detail

breathing problems

Overview

Issues with breathing are very rare in MS patients because MS does not generally affect the autonomic nervous system.

Description

just as MS can cause the muscles of the legs and arms to weaken, it can also cause a progressive weakening of the muscles used in breathing or respiration. Complications from weakness of respiratory muscles can become a significant problem in people with advanced MS who have lost mobility and contribute to an increased risk for pneumonia.

Important Facts

There is evidence that respiration may be impaired even in people who are in the early stages of MS and who are fully mobile. It’s recommended that breathing training be included in a regular exercise routine for people with MS, regardless of the stage of the disease.

Causes

This symptom can be caused by loss of muscle strength and endurance of ventilatory muscles.

Treatments

There is no known treatment. MS patients can maintain muscle strength by staying active and exercising regularly.