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Christina Applegate on the subtle signs that led to MS diagnosis: 'I wish I had paid attention'

The “Dead To Me” star was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in the summer of 2021.
/ Source: TODAY

Christina Applegate is opening up about the early physical symptoms in her body that led to her being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

During an interview with The New York Times published Tuesday, Applegate, 50, revealed that she first noticed changes in her body several years ago while shooting the first season of the Netflix dark comedy “Dead To Me.”

Applegate recalled feeling unbalanced while filming a dance sequence for the show. She later noticed her tennis game was not as strong, but she told herself she just needed to work harder.

“I wish I had paid attention,” said Applegate. “But who was I to know?”

Over time, the Emmy winner began experiencing numbness and tingling in her extremities, hallmarks of the neurological condition, which disrupts communication between the brain and the body, causing numbness, tingling, mood changes, pain, paralysis and more, according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.Applegate’s diagnosis finally came in the summer of 2021 when she first began filming the third and final season of “Dead To Me.” The show stopped production for about five months so the actor could begin treatment.

“There was the sense of, ‘Well, let’s get her some medicine so she can get better,’” recalled Applegate. “And there is no better. But it was good for me. I needed to process my loss of my life, my loss of that part of me. So I needed that time.”

The former “Married ... with Children” star doesn’t sugarcoat how she feels about her diagnosis, readily admitting that it ticks her off. “Acceptance? No. I’m never going to accept this. I’m pissed,” she said.

Applegate calls filming the final season of “Dead To Me,” which premieres Nov. 17, the hardest thing she’s ever done. She credits her co-star and close friend Linda Cardellini for being supportive on the show’s set.

“She was my champion, my warrior, my voice,” Applegate said of Cardellini, adding, “It was like having a mama bear.”

Just last week, Applegate tweeted a photo of the canes she now uses to walk.

“I have a very important ceremony coming up. This will be my first time out since diagnosed with MS. Walking sticks are now part of my new normal,” she wrote alongside the pic.