Toby93 wrote:Hello all, I have been reading posts on this site for a few months now, but have a question. I am in the CIS diagnosis stage and have been doing a lot of reading on MS. Can anyone tell me what the difference between a symptom and a relapse is (if there is a difference). Thank you
Welcome to ThisIsMS. This question has been discussed many times here. I'll attempt to answer it the best I can from memory. An MS symptom is an on-going problem. For example, foot drop, cognitive fog, neuropathic pain, etc. Sometimes symptoms come and go. For example, I've had neuropathic pain in my right foot since I was diagnosed in 1999. However, it varies in severity, e.g., sometimes it's not so bad while at other times it's really annoying and grabs my full attention. In contrast, a relapse is a sudden onset of new symptoms that usually sticks around at least a few days to a month or more. These usually include new symptoms or dramatic worsening of old ones that last for a period of time. Some examples would be waking up one morning to find the room spinning, or developing a sudden onset of optic neuritis, or just about anything really. The CNS is how we interact with our bodies and a relapse could mess up just about anything. Lastly, you may wish to take a look at the graph of the different MS types
that I've posted. Relapses are the spikes in impairment. Persistent symptoms are when the spikes don't return back to baseline.