How are attacks or exacerbations of multiple sclerosis (MS) characterized?

Updated: Oct 08, 2019
  • Author: Christopher Luzzio, MD; Chief Editor: Jasvinder Chawla, MD, MBA  more...
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Answer

Attacks or exacerbations of multiple sclerosis (MS) are characterized by symptoms that reflect central nervous system (CNS) involvement. The sine qua non of MS is that symptomatic episodes are “separated in time and space”—that is, episodes occur months or years apart and affect different anatomic locations. As an example, a patient may present with paresthesias of a hand that resolve, followed a few months later by weakness in a leg or visual disturbances (eg, diplopia). In addition, the duration of the attack should be longer than 24 hours.


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