What Is an MS Relapse? What Are the Signs and Symptoms I Should Look for?
A relapse is a sudden worsening of one or more MS symptoms or the appearance of new symptoms, which lasts at least 24 hours and is separated from a previous relapse by at least one month. A true MS relapse is caused by an area of inflammation in the CNS. Relapses can last anywhere from days to weeks, but also may last for months and can result in permanent added disability. Following are some of the symptoms that may indicate a MS relapse; however, this is not a complete list. If you are unsure if a symptom you are experiencing is a sign of a relapse or if you have a symptom that is worrying you, please talk to your doctor.
- Numbness, weakness, feeling constantly tired
- Loss of muscle function (especially in your lower torso)
- Difficulty going to the bathroom
- Uncontrollable shaking (tremors or muscle spasms)
- Problems with walking or balance
- Difficulty speaking
- Problems with memory and attention
- Changes in your ability to see
How Are MS Relapses Usually Treated?
Acthar and corticosteroids were among the first medications used for successful treatment of MS relapses and remain standard treatments
- ^ Relapses. National Multiple Sclerosis Society Web site. http://www.nationalmssociety.org/about-multiple-sclerosis/what-we-know-about-ms/treatments/exacerbations/index.aspx. Accessed October 11, 2010.
- ^ Symptoms. National Multiple Sclerosis Society Web site. http://www.nationalmssociety.org/about-multiple-sclerosis/what-we-know-about-ms/symptoms/index.aspx. Accessed October 11, 2010.