Expanded Disability Status Scale EDSS

A part of the Minimal Record of Disability that summarizes the neurologic examination and provides a measure of overall disability. The EDSS is a 20-point scale, ranging from 0 (normal examination) to 10 (death due to MS) by half-points. A person with a score of 4.5 can walk three blocks without stopping; a score of 6.0 means that a cane or a leg brace is needed to walk one block; a score over 7.5 indicates that a person cannot take more than a few steps, even with crutches or help from another person. The EDSS is used for many reasons, including deciding future medical treatment, establishing rehabilitation goals, choosing subjects for participation in clinical trials, and measuring treatment outcomes. This is currently the most widely used scale in clinical trials.

Experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE) Experimental allergic encephalomyelitis is an autoimmune disease resembling MS that has been induced in some genetically susceptible research animals. Before testing on humans, a potential treatment for MS may first be tested on laboratory animals with EAE in order to determine the treatment's efficacy and safety.

Extensor spasm A symptom of spasticity in which the legs straighten suddenly into a stiff, extended position. These spasms, which typically last for several minutes, occur most commonly in bed at night or on rising from bed.

Failure to empty (bladder) A type of neu-rogenic bladder dysfunction in MS resulting from demyelination in the voiding reflex center of the spinal cord. The bladder tends to overfill and become flaccid, resulting in symptoms of urinary urgency, hesitancy, dribbling, and incontinence.

Failure to store (bladder) A type of neu-rogenic bladder dysfunction in MS resulting from demyelination of the pathways between the spinal cord and brain. Typically seen in a small, spastic bladder, storage failure can cause symptoms of urinary urgency, frequency, incontinence, and nocturia. See Nocturia.

FDA See Food and Drug Administration.

Finger-to-nose test The person is asked, with eyes closed, to touch the tip of the nose with the tip of the index finger. This test is part of the standard neurologic exam.

Flaccid A decrease in muscle tone resulting in weakened muscles and therefore loose, "floppy" limbs.

Flexor spasm Involuntary, sometimes painful contractions of the flexor muscles, which pull the legs upward into a clenched position. These spasms, which last 2 to 3 seconds, are symptoms of spasticity. They often occur during sleep, but can also occur when the person is in a seated position.

Foley catheter See Indwelling catheter.

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