The nature and severity of symptoms vary from person to person. Even within the same individual, the characteristics of attacks (also known as relapses) can differ depending on which part of the CNS is being affected and the extent of myelin and/or nerve cell damage.
Relapses usually last for a couple of days to a week and are followed by an improvement in symptoms. Temporary worsening of signs and symptoms of MS can sometimes occur with a rise in body temperature (for example, during infections) but these do not count as a true relapse.
The disease course is highly variable – no two individuals have the exact disease course. Over time, some people with MS may not recover fully from relapses whilst others may develop a gradual but steady progression of signs and symptoms without any apparent relapses.
Nevertheless, many people with MS continue to lead normal, productive lives and have prolonged periods of time when they are symptom-free.
Symptoms of MS may include
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