What in the world is a pseudo relapse when you have MS? A regular multiple sclerosis relapse is pretty straight forward. You either have a new symptom - one that you've never had before. Or you have a symptom you've had before that is much worse than it was when you first experienced it.
Also, to be considered a relapse, the symptom has to last for at least 24 hours. That's pretty self explanatory, I suppose. So what exactly does it mean when you have a pseudo relapse?
First, the definition of pseudo - pronounced "sue - doe" - not genuine, sham. Other synonyms include, fake, false, mock, deceptive, misleading... you get the picture, right.
Well, a pseudo exacerbation or relapse, is when you experience one or more of the same symptoms you've had before. Symptoms such as numbness, optic neuritis, or extreme fatigue. These are symptoms you have had in the past, however, they come on with a force after a particularly stressful event. Some simply call it a flare-up. Oohh, okay. A flare-up.
I suppose it's fine to have different terms for the same thing, however, MS is already such an enigma, we don't need to make it even more complicated. And I guess for some, it's a matter of when you were diagnosed and who diagnosed you. Back in the day, (yes, I know I'm dating myself), you had a relapse - new stuff, or a flare-up - extra bad old stuff.
I'm not complaining, though. I appreciate all the new treatments for MS. Cir is pretty excited about Tysabri - you can read about that here - and so am I. He's doing much better - less weakness, more energy, mental clarity improving, and overall little things.
I also appreciate all the studies and research going on to actually eradicate this disease. So, really, I'm not complaining. If a term arises that makes it easier for someone to understand what's happening to them, go for it. I must admit there was a little confusion for both of us in the beginning about what a relapse was.
So, I get it - a pseudo relapse = a flare-up. We'll go with that. I can't guarantee that us old timers might occasionally slip back into our old terminology, though. So bear with us.
In the mean time, here are a few videos that help explain this type of relapse a little better. Enjoy!