Christina Applegate Is The Most Recent Celebrity To Share Their MS Diagnosis

Actor Christina Applegate revealed that she is another celebrity who has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) on Twitter

Applegate has been a constant in the entertainment biz for over 30 years, starring in TV shows and movies known to whatever generation you fall into. 

The celebrity told her 1.4 million Twitter followers, “Hi friends. A few months ago I was diagnosed with MS. It’s been a strange journey,” the ‘Dead to Me’ and ‘Bad Moms’ star said. 

“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.”

By asshole, I have to wonder if she means male doctors who tend not to believe women who complain about symptoms — dismissing us as hysterical hypochondriacs (I speak from personal experience but that’s a whole other article). 

Applegate has more class than I do by not naming, shaming or explaining who the asshole is, which is a credit to her and doesn’t muddy her original message.


What Is MS?

Multiple sclerosis, known as MS, attacks the central nervous system and is a potentially disabling disease of the brain and spinal cord (central nervous system).

According to the Mayo Clinic, “Signs and symptoms of MS vary widely and depend on the amount of nerve damage and which nerves are affected. Some people with severe MS may lose the ability to walk independently or at all, while others may experience long periods of remission without any new symptoms.

“There’s no cure for multiple sclerosis. However, treatments can help speed recovery from attacks, modify the course of the disease and manage symptoms.”

Symptoms And Who Is At Risk 

Although the 2.3 million people who suffer from MS have a normal life expectancy, the effects can be debilitating. 

The most common symptoms are fatigue, difficulty walking, numbness or tingling, muscle spasms/stiffness, weakness, vision problems, vertigo/dizziness, bladder, bowel, and sexual problems, itching, pain, cognitive and emotional changes, and depression.

Less common and more severe symptoms include speech problems, loss of taste and trouble swallowing, tremor, seizures, breathing problems, and hearing loss. 

The National MS Society says that “Anyone may develop MS but there are some patterns. More than two to three times as many women as men develop MS and this gender difference has been increasing over the past 50 years.”

celebrities with ms

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“MS is not an inherited disease, meaning it is not a disease that is passed down from generation to generation. 

“However, in MS there is genetic risk that may be inherited. In the general population, the risk of developing MS is about 1 in 750-1000. About 200 genes have been identified that each contribute a small amount to the overall risk of developing MS. Research is ongoing to better understand genetic risk and other factors that contribute to the development of MS.”

Support From Celebrities With MS

In a follow up tweet, Applegate wrote “As one of my friends that has MS said ‘we wake up and take the indicated action.’ And that’s what I do. So now I ask for privacy. As I go through this thing.  Thank you xo”

That friend may be fellow actor Selma Blair, who starred alongside Applegate in 2002’s ‘The Sweetest Thing.’ 

Blair revealed her MS diagnosis to the world in October 2018, and the celebrity been very open about what it’s like living with the illness.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Selma Blair (@selmablair)

Blair also shared how difficult it was to live with symptoms for years and not receive a diagnosis.

“I was really struggling with, ‘How am I gonna get by in life?'” she said. “And [being] not taken seriously by doctors, just, ‘Single mother, you’re exhausted, financial burden, blah, blah, blah.'”

Hmmm, sounds like there are a lot of assholes out there. 

When she was ultimately diagnosed with the autoimmune disorder, she cried. 

“I had tears,” she said. “They weren’t tears of panic, they were tears of knowing that I now had to give in to a body that had loss of control, and there was some relief in that.”

Other celebrities who suffer from MS include Jack Osbourne, ‘The Sopranos’ Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Montel Williams, singer Tamia Hill, and actor Teri Garr. 

Applegate asks for the public to respect her privacy as she goes “through this thing.”

For MS support and resources, check out The National MS Society  and Everyday Health.


Do you have or know someone who has MS? How do you cope? Share with us in the comments.

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