How long do the symptoms of MS last

To be considered a symptom of MS, the symptom should last at least 24 hours. However, certain rare symptoms such as recurrent brief spasms in one or more limbs can be recognized as part of MS (paroxysmal dystonia). Although they are of short duration, typically seconds to minutes, they are identified because they recur in a stereotyped fashion. Other symptoms, such as the loss of muscle tone, difficulty with articulation during speaking, pain, and so on, may be due to MS.

Symptoms in MS typically develop over a period of several days but rarely evolve over more than 2 or 3 weeks. They typically dissipate over a much longer period of time than they appeared, often over a period of weeks and sometimes months. Rest certainly shortens the duration of symptoms. Before the advent of ACTH treatment for MS a half a century ago, rest was the only effective treatment, as it was in tuberculosis since the days of Hippocrates in ancient Greece.

Karen's comment:

Some of my symptoms have lasted a few days, and some have lasted for 6 months. The symptom that I have had last the longest is vertigo. When I moved certain ways or people and objects moved, it triggered severe dizziness, the room spinning, me feeling like I was spinning, and accompanying nausea. The banners on a TV screen, cars on the road, ceiling fans, and my husband moving his fork at dinner are examples of what I had to avoid seeing. Thus, I stayed indoors. I listened to recorded books. I ate meals next to rather than across from my husband-all compensatory processes. As time went on, the accidental triggers occurred less, but the points at which I felt I could not live with the vertigo occurred more.

The vertigo started suddenly and ended quickly. Eight months later, I felt dizzy again. I sobbed, thinking that I was going to have another long bout, but it turned out to be just the flu. When I did have the next episode of vertigo, I thought it would never end. However, like many symptoms, with time, it did.

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