Multiple Sclerosis: What Part Do Relapses Play In Severe Disability?
Posted Nov 17 2009 10:20pm
Medical News Today - November 5, 2009
People withmultiple sclerosis(MS) who have relapses within the first five years of onset appear to have more severe disability in the short term compared to people who do not have an early relapse, according to a new study published in the November 4, 2009, issue ofNeurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. The study is one of the first to examine how MS relapses affect people during different time periods of the disease.
Research shows that 85 percent of people with MS begin by having the relapsing-remitting form of the disease and the majority of these people later develop secondary progressive MS. A relapse is defined in the study as worsening of neurological symptoms for more than 24 hours, without afeveror infection. Because relapse-related symptoms often improve within a few weeks, it's been unclear how much disability comes from relapses, and how much from progression.