what exactly constitutes an exacerbation?

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what exactly constitutes an exacerbation?

Postby chalam » Fri Jun 03, 2005 11:29 pm

Our neurologist has lead us to believe that only muscle weakness (leading to temporary parallysis) means exacerbation. Numbness, tingling, and other sensory problems--even if they are progressive--don't count for him.

Is this the generally accepted attitude?
thanks,
mother of 16-year-old with MS
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Re: what exactly constitutes an exacerbation?

Postby NHE » Sat Jun 04, 2005 3:11 am

I guess that definition would rule out optic neuritis which is a very common problem/exacerbation with MS patients. It was actually one of the key symptoms that led to my diagnosis.

Here's the definition given by the National MS Society:
The appearance of new symptoms or the aggravation of old ones, lasting at least twenty-four hours (synonymous with attack, relapse, flare-up, or worsening); usually associated with inflammation and demyelination in the brain or spinal cord.

You may be interested in reading this article, Is It an MS Attack—or Not? which discusses transient worsening of symptoms, frequently due to heat or stress, which are often confused with an exacerbation.

In a nutshell, although I'm not qualified to give direct medical advice, I would get a new neurologist.

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Re: what exactly constitutes an exacerbation?

Postby NHE » Sun Jun 05, 2005 4:18 am

chalam wrote:Our neurologist has lead us to believe that only muscle weakness (leading to temporary parallysis) means exacerbation.

Physical problems are not the only outcome of exacerbations. For example, this article from the National MS Society discusses changes in Cognitive Function. Essentially, an exacerbation can impact just about any process that involves the CNS.

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exacerbation

Postby Cathy » Tue Jun 07, 2005 7:23 am

I agree-either get a new neuro or bring in the above information to see if he changes his mind. This seems to be a big problem-that depending on the belief of your Doc, perhaps you will get treatment and perhaps not. I never have sensory problems, which led to much confusion on the part of the 4 year medical school, 2 year neurology residence MD's I initially saw-just could not be MS without numbness or tingling-I finally lied and said I did, and then got DX.

Good luck, I am sure it is even more difficult with a 16 year old. Will keep your family in my prayers
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exacerbation?

Postby chalam » Wed Jun 15, 2005 6:57 am

Thanks everyone for your imput.
I will be taking my daughter to see an MS specialist tomorrow... the only one in the Tokyo area, maybe even in all of Japan. Your comments have helped me compose my list of questions.
Laura
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