Celebrities Facing Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a progressive neurological disease that attacks the central nervous system, including the brain, spinal cord and optic nerve. Myelin, a protective layer of nerve fibers, disrupts signals to and from the brain. Symptoms vary and can include 1) Numbness, tingling and pain in the arms, legs, trunk or face 2) Muscle spasms 3) Balance issues. New studies indicate that with age, there is a reduction in the body’s ability to repair myelin. Onset of disease ranges from twenty to forty years old. Severity can range from mild to severe. 

More and more celebrities are being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Selma Blair, Jamie-Lynn Sigler and Christina Applegate all share the diagnosis. Each are sharing their stories with the public. 

Selma Blair, an actress known for her roles in Cruel Intentions, Legally Blonde and the Sweetest Thing was diagnosed with MS in 2018. However, she believed symptoms started years prior. As a child, she had constant pain, fatigue and mood swings. As she got older and entered adulthood, Selma had difficulties with her vision and had involuntary muscle contractions in her neck. Post her diagnosis, she decided to make a documentary, “featured a documentary, “Introducing Selma Blair” to give viewers an inside look at life with MS.  Selma has endured a lot and now is an advocate for others. 

 Jamie-Lynn Sigler, an actress known for her role in the HBO series, The Sopranos, was diagnosed with MS in 2002. Over the years, she has been candid about her MS and treatment. 

 She faces regular struggles with balance, running, wearing high heels and bladder control. She says, “I’m uncomfortable 24/7. I am always a little stiff, I’m always a little achy. But I have been this way for so long, it’s my normal.”

 Christina Applegate, an actress known for her role in the series “The Dead to Me”, was diagnosed with MS in 2021. Prior to her diagnosis, she recalls having tingling sensations in her feet. She believes though she had it for many years prior. When her symptoms became worse, it was her friend, Selma Blair, who encouraged her to get tested. Recently, Christina and Jamie have become close friends, as Jamie helps Christina get through her tough days. Christina notes, “I’m flipping the bird all day long at this thing. And I’m angry. I’m really, really p —-.” Now, Christina and Jamie-Lynn are launching their own podcast, “Messy”, where they talk about MS and everything in between. 

 As with all illnesses, it is important that if you or someone you know is experiencing unusual symptoms, like those mentioned above, to consult a physician. Hopefully within due time, there will be a cure for MS.  

 We know that MS, like other illnesses or neurological conditions, can be difficult challenges to face. We at Different & Able, provide information and support to our community as they face neurological challenges. While our approach is to have a positive, can do outlook, we know that at times there can be struggles. These struggles can be challenging and difficult. It is important to acknowledge that difficulties are a part of life experience and they can be hard. We encourage you to support each other when you struggle and know that you are not alone. We invite you to share your stories with us and the D&A community.