Christina Applegate reveals that she has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis


This is sad news. Christina Applegate announced yesterday that she’s been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Per her tweet, she found out a few months ago but is just now going public with the diagnosis. In 2008, Christina was diagnosed with breast cancer and decided on a double mastectomy due to her family history with the disease. She decided against chemotherapy because she hoped to have a baby in later years, which she did, in 2011. A few years after giving birth to Sadie, Christina removed her ovaries and fallopian tubes as a preventative measure against ovarian cancer, to which she’d lost her cousin. Four years after that, she found out she has MS. So she’s letting her fans know, but also telling them she still needs a little time to deal with it.

Christina Applegate has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

The Dead to Me actress, 49, took to Twitter on Tuesday, writing, “Hi friends. A few months ago I was diagnosed with MS.”

“It’s been a strange journey. But I have been so supported by people that I know who also have this condition,” she continued. “It’s been a tough road. But as we all know, the road keeps going. Unless some asshole blocks it.”

“As one of my friends that has MS said ‘we wake up and take the indicated action’. And that’s what I do,” the Emmy winner wrote in another tweet.
Applegate then asked for privacy “as I go through this thing.”

[From People]

Christina is always upfront about her medical issues. She’s open because she believes it can save lives. She watched her mother battle breast cancer and saw it come back time and again. By coming forward with her diagnosis and treatment choices, she hoped to save lives through information and I’m certain she did. Just as I am that she did the same thing by talking about testing BRCA positive and ovarian cancer. It sounds as if this MS diagnosis really threw her for a loop. I’m not surprised. I only know one person personally who was diagnosed with it and it’s been a hard road for them. I’m glad Christina knows others living with MS so she has guides for her journey who can help. Of course, her The Sweetest Thing co-star, Selma Blair, is living with MS. I’ll bet she’s been a huge comfort to Christina. “We wake up and take the indicated action,” sounds like something Selma would say.

I’m sure Christina is scared right now and I understand why she still needs some time. She’s such a fighter, though, and I know she’ll take this on with the same determination she has the rest. I also know she has many friends who adore her in Hollywood she can lean on. I have no doubt she will fill us in when she’s ready because her belief is, “We [as actors] are fortunate to have this platform to be like, ‘I am just like you, I can’t sleep, I feel like crap a lot of the time because of this, but I want you to feel okay with it and not feel shame about it and get information about it so that you can have a better quality of life.” Wishing Christina much comfort during this time.

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27 Responses to “Christina Applegate reveals that she has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis”

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  1. Jezz says:


  2. Ninks says:

    MS is such a horrible disease. Some people are really tested in life and having to face an illness like this after recovering from cancer must have been such an awful shock.

    • AnnaKist says:

      It really is awful. My nephew has MS. Three years ago we thought he wouldn’t make it past Christmas he was in such a bad way. it was revealed later that he actually tried to take his life. Now he is in a nursing home unable to move his legs or arms essentially a quadriplegic. He cannot feed himself or anything else, and has great difficulty even speaking. It’s just horrible.
      I hope Christina has a good support system of friends and family. I feel so sad. for her

  3. Lili says:

    My heart goes out to her, she has had a lot thrown at her over the years. i wonder what her symtoms are, I got diagnosed in 2009, and its the most terrifying thing i’ve experienced and have been depressed ever since.

    • Jill says:

      I am so sorry to hear about your struggles. I’m an occupational therapist, and often work with people with MS. I hope you have good support from your medical team. Many people I have worked with have benefitted from support groups or talk therapy. If you are interested in any resources, I’d be happy to talk with you!

      • SJP-NYC says:

        I joined a group when I was first diagnosed about 30 years ago and it was the best thing I did. I am lucky in that my case is on the milder side of the spectrum, but it can weigh on you.

  4. Merricat says:

    MS is terrible. Poor Christina.

  5. Bettyrose says:

    A friend of mine with MS shared this news with me yesterday and was like no deserves this much crap. I’m glad that Christina has grown into acting roles based on her comedic talent rather than her beauty. She’s so stunning but her inner beauty and gift for comedy shine through.

    • IMARA219 says:

      Straight facts! I guess I feel like I grew up with her being a child of the 80s. I have seen her mature in wonderful comedic roles. Whenever I see her in a current film it’s a breath of fresh air. I keep thinking about “Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter is Dead” and her recent stint in “Bad Moms” This is a sad diagnosis and I wish her well.

  6. Seán says:

    This is sad news, MS is a serious illness that has a tremendous effect on many lives.

    I do want to say though that in some cases, MS can be managed effectively and it isn’t always the case that someone has a rapid decline in quality of life or premature death. The understanding of the disease and the management of it has progressed a lot in the last 10 years so the prognosis isn’t always so bleak. In an estimated 5-10% of cases, there is benign MS which allows a person to live with mild to no symptoms. Diet, exercise and medication can sometimes be very effective at slowing or alleviating symptoms.

    I don’t say this to take away from the people truly struggling with MS no matter what medication they take or healthy lifestyle they follow. I just want to say that it’s a massively complex disease that impacts each person differently. If anyone is anxiously waiting on a diagnosis, I just want them to be informed that in some cases it can be managed quite effectively and it is not a guaranteed death sentence as some people pose.

    Giving all my best thoughts to Christina and anyone else diagnosed or undergoing testing for this disease.

    • MsIam says:

      I’m glad to hear that there has been a lot of progress made. A family friend lost her son to MS in the 90s. He was relatively young when he died and was confined to a wheelchair.

    • Bobbie says:

      This is absolutely true. I have MS. I was diagnosed 8 years ago, and it was a very scary time. It did take about a year to find the right medicine and that year was hard- I had multiple serious relapses and progression. There are a lot of medicines now effective for Ms however and once I found the right one, I stabilized and have remained stable. I have had no further progression and since that time and today I have almost no daily impairment or impact on my life. I am a triathlete, an owner and leader in a large law firm and an engaged mother to four growing children. I do eat carefully and meditate and do other things like that but mostly my stability is due to the progression in the medicine. While it it meant kindly, I am not a fan of the oh no you’re diagnosed with Ms your life is over kind of reaction because it stigmatizes people with MS and makes us in the professional world feel like it is a dirty secret to hide

      • Bobbie says:

        I meant my comment to reply to Sean who talks about options for treatment.

      • Merricat says:

        I absolutely understand your point of view. I lost a family member to MS who progressed very quickly, so my initial reaction to such news is very emotional. Congratulations to you on managing so well! I am happy to know that treatment has gotten better over the years.

      • Jill says:

        Fantastic! I am so happy to hear that the recent advances have been so beneficial. As an occupational therapist who frequently works with people with MS, it’s been so exciting to follow the research and advances in recent years. It sounds like you have a great medical team supporting you 🙂

    • Wif says:

      And in her case, she’s very very wealthy and influential. That means she’ll have access to the best possible treatments available. With that in mind, my hope is that we’ll get to continue to see her work for decades.

    • SJP-NYC says:

      I have lived with MS for 30+ years and my path has been really good. I did make a decision not to have kids and work part time for many years, but now that I am in my 50s (MS usually tapers off at this age) I am back to working full time and having a great time. I was on medication for years and it is amazing the many treatments we have.

      My heart goes out to those more affected, but MS is not a death sentence – you probably know people who have it – for many of us, we look normal (no obvious disability) and if we didn’t tell you, you would never know.

    • tealily says:

      Thanks for saying this. I have a very close friend who was diagnosed about 10 years ago and I was so scared for her when she first got her diagnosis. She’s had a few health setbacks over the years, but most of the time you would never even know. She’s absolutely flourishing and it’s been a joy to watch her grow into being an awesome mom and do a job she loves.

  7. SuSuSusio says:

    Tragic. Much love, light and strength to her.

    If her mother had cancer “again and again” then she, like Angelina Jolie, most probably has the BRACA mutation and her painful decisions to have pre-emptive surgery was both courageous and wise.

    Please – especially if there is a history of cancer in your family — get the test.

  8. Lucy2 says:

    I’m sorry to hear this, she has really been through a lot.

  9. FHMom says:

    My heart broke for her when I heard this. She has truly been through so much. It’s wonderful that she shares her health issues with the public. She is doing a good thing. On a shallow note, I can’t wait for the next season of Dead to Me. I strongly recommend this if you have t seen it. She and Linda Cardinelli are both so good in it.

    • CJ says:

      I didn’t know about her mom, but it informs the episode of dead to me where her character speaks about her anger in watching her mother die for most of her childhood. Ughh. That’s so much to deal with. My heart really goes out to her

  10. WithTheAmerican says:

    She has become such an amazing and compelling actress, I absolutely love watching her. I was so sad to read this yesterday on Twitter. Appreciate the context re her other healchallenges.

  11. Ann says:

    Such sad news. My heart goes out to her.

    One of my closest friends was diagnosed with MS about twelve years ago. She actually did a lot of research and chose to try a special vegan diet as a way to control symptoms. It’s very strict, and she follows it rigorously. It has worked for her, though of course she still seeks more conventional medical treatment as well, I think, or at least is monitored that way.

    I am not suggesting diet would work for everyone, but it seems to have helped my friend. She is still quite active in her early 50s. She diagnosed the disease early, too, I think, which helped.

  12. jferber says:

    This really sucks. I know drug companies and scientists are working every day on medications to improve the outlook and daily lives of people with this and other diseases. All the best to you, my dear, all the best.

  13. J says:

    I was so sorry to hear this yesterday. I was diagnosed with MS 15 or 16 years ago, and I hate when TV shows act like MS is a death sentence – it is not! There is a saying that you will die WITH MS, not OF MS. Primary progressive MS can be really bad, but the vast majority of people who are diagnosed have relapsing-remitting MS, for which there are a lot of medications to slow progression/tamp down disease activity. I read a lot when I was diagnosed, and back then, the stat was that about 25% of people diagnosed would eventually end up in a wheelchair.

    I’m 49-years old now, have a 13-yr old and 10-yr old (so both pregnancies after I was diagnosed), and my main symptom is that I need more sleep than I did pre-MS. I have to listen to my body, and get more sleep when I feel “off”. I also really, really feel the heat, worse than I did before, and that’s saying something! I’ve been on one of the injectable medications for years, since I was first diagnosed. I’ve had disease activity (lesions) show up on MRIs, but haven’t actually had new symptoms since my first year, so fingers crossed.

    Women are far more likely to have MS, but are also more likely to have a less severe course than men, so that’s in Christina’s favor. Not in her favor is her age. People who are diagnosed in their 20s and 30s generally have a less severe disease course than those diagnosed in their 40s and 50s. That said, she could have been having mild symptoms for years without being diagnosed, so hopefully she’s had it for years and just didn’t know it. I know that sounds weird to say! Love her and wish her the best.

  14. DollyDahl says:

    My mom died of complications from MS in December. She was 64 years old and was first diagnosed in 2000. For my mom, she was managing her MS okay up until about 2 years ago. She had complications from a kidney stone procedure and never really recovered. Following that procedure her overall health went downhill because she had MS as an underlying condition which made recovery for other issues much more complicated. For my family, MS had a profound impact on my mom, my dad and all of us.