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Well Known People and Multiple Sclerosis

After 22 years as an RN, I now write about medical issues and new medical advances. Diet, exercise, treatment, and lifestyle are important.

Montel Williams


Montel Williams

Montel William is well-known as a talk show host but was a decorated Naval Intelligence officer prior to his TV roles. He was born July 3, 1956, in Baltimore, Maryland. He has a very supportive wife and they live in Jackson, Tennessee. He has relapsing remitting MS that was diagnosed when he was 43. He suffers severe pain throughout his body and has suffered from depression.

Multiple Sclerosis Overview

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease that is three times more common in women. This disease typically appears between the ages of 20 and 50. There are a million cases in the U.S. and 2.5 million cases worldwide. MS is the most common immune-mediated disease affecting the central nervous system.

Multiple sclerosis is a demyelinating disease that damages the insulating covers of nerve cells in the brain, and the spinal cord is also damaged. The nervous system is unable to transmit signals, which results in a variety of symptoms and signs, which include mental, physical and sometimes psychiatric problems.

There is no known reason why some people with MS develop more severe symptoms. A combination of environmental factors and genetics is thought to be responsible. A person who experiences a gradual but steady onset of the signs and symptoms of MS without any relapses have primary-progressive MS.

Approximately 60 to 70 percent of people with relapsing-remitting MS eventually have a steady progression of symptoms. This may be with or without remission periods, which is then called secondary-progressive MS.

Early Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms

MS can appear in various forms. New symptoms may occur in an isolated attack or the symptoms may build up over time occurring constantly, which is the progressive form. Symptoms can disappear in between attacks for some, but permanent neurological symptoms may remain. This is particularly true if the MS advances.

The most common early signs and symptoms include:

  • Numbness and tingling
  • Vision problems - prolonged double vision, blurry vision, partial or complete vision loss in one eye with painful eye movement
  • Pains and spasms
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Dizziness and balance problems
  • Bladder issues
  • Sexual dysfunction or bladder problems
  • Cognitive problems

Trevor Bayne


Trevor Bayne

Trevor Bayne was born on February 19, 1991, in Knoxville, Tennessee and is a professional stock car racer and businessman. He is the youngest person to ever win the Daytona 500. He was diagnosed with MS in 2011. He had numbness and vision problems and was diagnosed at Mayo Clinic. He is also a Christian, which has helped him handle his overnight success and the MS diagnosis. He has been on several mission trips with Back2Back Ministries. He married in 2013. He also has a younger sister with MS.

How MS is Diagnosed

A neurologist will look for signs of scarring on the brain or spinal cord, which is the central nervous system. In most patients with relapsing-remitting MS the diagnoses can be made by the symptoms and an MRI.

It takes two or more areas of scarring to receive the diagnosis of MS. When a person has MS the immune system attacks the protective sheath (myelin) that covers the nerves and this causes communication difficulties between the brain and the body. Permanent damage to the nerves will happen eventually. This is a potentially disabling disease of the central nervous system.

Blood tests are usually done to rule out other diseases. An MRI will show lesions on the brain. A spinal tap may be done as it will reveal abnormal antibodies associated with MS. It will also rule out an infection or other medical conditions. An evoked potential test measures the time it takes for electrical signals produced by the nervous system to respond to stimuli.

The symptoms of MS may vary widely from one patient to another as it depends on which nerves are attacked. One patient may walk with no problem but another may not be able to walk at all. Long remission without symptoms may occur for some patients.

Multiple Sclerosis: Considering Symptoms and Diagnosis

MS Treatment

There is no cure for multiple sclerosis. There are treatments that will modify the disease and somewhat manage symptoms. The course of this disease is different from one person to the next. The treatments attempt to improve specific symptoms and to prevent a new attack.

  • Corticosteroids may be prescribed to reduce the nerve inflammation, but there are side effects, such as insomnia, a higher blood pressure, mood swings and fluid retention.
  • A plasma exchange (plasmapheresis) may be used for a patient that is newly diagnosed, with severe symptoms and not responding to corticosteroids. This procedure removes the liquid part of blood (plasma), which is separated from the blood cells. Then, the blood cells are mixed with albumin (protein solution) and returned to the body.

There is only one drug approved by the FDA for primary-progressive MS (PPMS) and for relapsing forms of MS, which is ocrelizumab (Ocrevus) for disease-modifying therapy. There is an experimental drug called Rituxan for PPMS, which has been studied. It has failed to stop the progression of the disease.

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Relapsing-remitting MS has several disease-modifying therapies available. Early treatment lowers the relapsing rate and slows the formation of new brain lesions, however, many of these medicines carry a significant side effects..

Physical therapy may help a patient function because the worsening of symptoms typically involve problems with mobility and gait. Good outcomes occur more often in women. Life expectancy is shorter by 5-10 years than for someone without this disease.

Selma Blair Beitner


Selma Blair Beitner

Selma Blair Beitner was born June 23, 1972, and is an American actress. She has been on TV and she played a leading role in “Brown’s Requiem” in 1998. She starred as Zoe Bean on the sitcom, “Zoe, Duncan, Jack and Jane, and Jane “. She played Cecile Caldwell in the film “Cruel Intentions”. She went public about her MS in 1999, stating the disease has caused problems with her speech, vertigo and vision.

How we diagnose Multiple Sclerosis

Risk Factors

There are several factors that increase the risk of developing this disease, including:

  • Age usually affects people between 16 to 55 year of age.
  • Sex - Women are 2 to 3 times more likely to get relapsing-remitting MS..
  • Family history - If a parent or sibling has MS you are at a higher risk.
  • Infections - Certain infections increase the risk for MS, including Epstein-Barr.
  • Race - White people, especially those of Northern European descent are at a higher risk.
  • Climate - MS is more common in countries with temperate climates, including Canada, southern Australia, northern U.S, New Zealand and Europe.
  • Vitamin D - Low vitamin D level and low sunlight exposure.
  • Some autoimmune diseases - A slightly higher risk is associated with thyroid disease, type 1 diabetes or inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Smoking - Smoker are more likely to develop a second MS event, confirming relapsing-remitting MS.

Neil Patrick Cavuto


Neil Patrick Cavuto

Neil Patrick Cavuto was born September 22, 1958, Westbury, New York. He is an American television business news anchor and senior vice-president at FOX news. He is also the author of 2 books. He worked at the White House as an intern during the Jimmy Carter administration. He nearly lost his life with cancer, then he was diagnosed with MS a few years later.

In Conclusion

Multiple sclerosis is a difficult disease, and there is no known cause of this autoimmune disease. There are many successful people that have MS.

As MS has no known treatment it typically gets worse over time. Hopefully further research holds a successful treatment for this disease. As this article shows you can be quite successful despite the fact you are dealing with MS.

What do You Know About Multiple Sclerosis?


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Pamela Oglesby


Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on June 16, 2020:

Thank you for your comment, Mebakagh.

Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on June 16, 2020:

Pamela, your comment is well noted

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on June 16, 2020:

Hi Sp,

This really is an awful disease and I want people to learn the facts. Thank you for commenting.

Sp Greaney from Ireland on June 16, 2020:

I don't personally know anyone who has this. But it seems to be one condition that doesn't care who it impacts. It's a really good article that explains the condition really well.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on June 11, 2020:

Hi Adrienna,

I was surprised that I found so many people with this disease, yet they were able to have a career. I appreciate your comments.

Adrienne Farricelli on June 11, 2020:

Thank you for writing this article on multiple sclerosis. I wasn't aware these well-known people had MS, hopefully it won't interfere with their careers, or at least, hopefully the can manage their symptoms well for a long time.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on April 30, 2020:

Hi Rosina,

I am glad this article was interesing to you. I was impressed with some of the personalities that have worked so hard while suffering from this disease. I admire people that seek to overcome.

Thank you for your comments.

Rosina S Khan on April 30, 2020:

Pamela, I like your presentation of this hub about Mutiple Sclerosis. I didn't know about this disease before. You present distiguished personalities suffering from this disease, the diseases's symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and risk factors. Unfortunately, there is no cure for multiple sclerosis but only treatment which may carry a significant health risk, differing from one individual to another. Thank you for sharing an informative hub about this disease.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on April 10, 2020:

Hi Chitrangada,

I hope this article does give everyone some new knowledge about MS. I very much appreciate your nice comments and I am glad you were interested in this disease.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on April 10, 2020:

An excellent and informative article about multiple sclerosis.

I have heard of this serious health issue, but you have explained this quite extensively. I hope many people would be benefitted by this article.

Thanks for mentioning the risk factors too.

Thank You so much for sharing this important information.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on April 09, 2020:

Hi Delores,

Yes, I remember both of them. This is a horrid disease. I appreciate your comments. Stay safe and healthy, Delores.

Dolores Monet from East Coast, United States on April 09, 2020:

Hi Pamela - I hate that MS and have known several people who suffered from it. Do't forget Teri Garr and Annette Funicello!

Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on April 08, 2020:

Pamela, it's okay.

Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on April 08, 2020:

Pamela, not at all, please.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on April 08, 2020:

Hi Miebakagh,

Thanks you so much for your comments.

Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on April 07, 2020:

Pamela, as I follow the comments, and re-read the article I see many persons suffers the disease. The legendary Muhammed Ali (late), is one such person. Thank you.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on April 07, 2020:

Hi Nell Rose,

There are so many effects of this difficult disease. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Nell Rose from England on April 07, 2020:

That is great information, and interesting to see people that we know who have it. My brother in laws girlfriend is a sufferer as well. she gets very tired.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on April 07, 2020:

Hi Rajan,

It sure is a difficult disease. Thank you for your comments.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on April 06, 2020:

MS indeed is a difficult disease to tackle knowing that there is no known cause or treatment for it. Thanks for sharing this information.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on April 06, 2020:

Hi Ms Dora,

This is a very difficult disease. I know you are a copassionate person and don't want anyone to suffer. I don't either. Than you so much for your comments.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on April 06, 2020:

Thanks for providing these informative details on multiple sclerosis. The fact there is no cure feels like a stab in the stomach. We must admire the courage and be compassionate toward the suffering of our fellow-beings who endure this disease.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on April 06, 2020:

Hi again Doris, I think stress is a factor in most diseases.I think there is a good chance that ridding herself of that stress probably aided in her remission.

It is hard to mearsure the impact of stress but I think we havs seen stress be a factor in many diseases. I imagine she felt much calmer after her divorce. I appreciate your comments again and I think they explain this woman's problems.

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on April 05, 2020:

Pamela, maybe I didn't make my point well enough. It was my observation that after her husband went to prison (and I forgot to state that she divorced him) she seemed much happier. I wondered if her ridding herself of that kind of stress might have aided in her remission. BTW, he was a lawyer but he went to the pokey anyway. LOL

Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on April 05, 2020:

Pamela, you're welcomed.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on April 05, 2020:

Hi Shauna,

I knew some children can get MS but that is a sad story, Shauna. Being blind in addition to all the other problems must be rough. I know your friend in the wheelchair also has a hard time.

I am glad you learned some new aspects of this disease. I appreciate you sharing your experience and your comments are appreciated.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on April 05, 2020:

Pamela, I know two people with MS and both are wheelchair bound. One is the daughter of my ex-husband. She was diagnosed at birth and is also blind as a result of the disease. The other is a writer friend of mine who was diagnosed later in life. Despite the disease and the extreme pain it causes him, he maintains a strong sense of humor.

This is an enlightening article, Pamela. I learned aspects of the disease I did not know.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on April 05, 2020:

Hi Miebakagh, I certainly wish that you and your family will be safe and stay healthy. I appreciate your comments.

Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on April 05, 2020:

Hello Pamela, thanks for your response. However, as I read through the other comments, I realized here and there your call to stay safe from corvid-19. Same to you and yours.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on April 05, 2020:

Hi Devika,

Yes, it is a different topic. The people with MS have a rough life, especially when they are in a flareup. Thanks so much for commenting. Stay safe and healthy, Devika.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on April 05, 2020:

Hi Pamela Oglesby You have informed me more of MS and people with MS must have their difficulties in coping and daily routines. Informative and I had no idea of the well known being affected my MS as you have mentioned. It is a different topic taking our minds away from the world right now.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on April 05, 2020:

Hi Doris,

Montel Wiams went on a lot of talk shows, like Oprah, and talked about his disgnosis. I think I hear him once many years ago.

That is some story about the women met. I read that many go into remission but they don't necessarily stay that way. Her husband should be in prison for having child porn.

Thanks so much for sharing your experience and commenting.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on April 05, 2020:

Hi Flourish,

I saw Donna Fargo perform in CA, then she got sick and was not performing anymore. Demtia is a sad diagnosis also.

Thanks for the information about the other singers.

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on April 04, 2020:

Good article, Pamela. I don't think I knew about Montel Williams. He looks healthy, and you said he has a good support system. I wonder if any studies have been conducted on how stress affects an MS patient. I was acquainted with a woman who, at the time, was probably in her mid-40s and was diagnosed with MS. About a year after the diagnoses, she was in a wheel-chair and had the bloated look of someone on prednisone. A couple of years after that, her husband was caught with a computer full of child porn and went to prison. Two or three years after his arrest, I met up with her at a grocery store. She was in remission, walking on her on, and looking like her old normal self. One never knows what goes on in a person's home and how it adversely affects them.

FlourishAnyway from USA on April 04, 2020:

The country musicians with MS that I recall are Clay Walker (primary progressive MS), 1970s country singer Donna Fargo, a country singer who had a couple of songs named Julie Roberts (not the actress), and Hal Ketchum (who now also has dementia).

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on April 04, 2020:

Hi Lori,

I think you are right about Annete. I use to love that show even though I was still in grade school but I hurried homw to watch in every day.

Thank you for your nice comments. Stay safe and healthy.

Lori Colbo from United States on April 04, 2020:

A thorough job here Pamela. I believe Annette Funicello died of MS. A very difficult disease. I do hope they find a cure some day. Well done.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on April 04, 2020:

Hi Vidya,

That is exactly what I thought. The disease can e managed although at times it is very painfull. I do hope for a cure. I appreciate your comments, Vidya.

Stay safe and well.

VIDYA D SAGAR on April 04, 2020:

A very informative article Pamela. Your article shows that it can be managed in spite of it being a very difficult disease. I hope they find a cure for it in the near future.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on April 04, 2020:

Hi Bill,

Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

i hope you stay safe and healthy also, my friend.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on April 04, 2020:

Hi Linda,

I hope your neighbor is doing okay. This is such a diffficult disease. Thanks for your very nice comments.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on April 04, 2020:

Hi Liz,

This disease is different for different people. It has some symptoms that are similar to other diseases that make it difficult to diagnose from other diseases. The flare-ups must be difficult for the patients.

I appreciate your comments.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on April 04, 2020:

Hi Miebakagh,

Thank you for your comment.

Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on April 04, 2020:

Pamela, thanks for sharing.

Liz Westwood from UK on April 04, 2020:

I was interested to read that Trevor Bayne has a sister with MS, as I have come across a cluster of cases in one family. It seems to me that it is a difficult disease to predict. Some have symptoms which they manage and control, but can have sudden relapses. Others get hit with MS quickly and very badly.

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on April 04, 2020: