Neurology Expert Forum
Reflexes
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Reflexes

  HI, I would like to know if reflexes return to normal after having an MS exacerbation. For example, if you lose your abdominal reflexes during an exacerbation with MS, do they return after recovering from the exacerbation? Also if you have a abnormal babinski sign, can it ever go back to a normal response after the exacerbation? I am wondering if all the abnormal reflexes found during a neurological exam ever return back to "normal" after recovering from a MS exacerbation. Also, can a neurogenic bladder "come and go," or does it always stay neurogenic? I appreciate your answers, Thank you, Lindsay
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Multiple sclerosis exacerbations often result in increased reflexes because of damage they cause to certain nerve tracts in the spinal cord, called the corticospinal (and other related so called "extrapyramidal") tracts. The multiple sclerosis causes damage to the fibers by stripping away their insulation coating, called myelin, and sometimes additionally direct damage to the nerve fibers themselves. After such an attack, the body is almost always able to repair some or even most of the damage by rebuilding the myelin, but it does so in a way that is never as perfect or complete as the original job, but often close enough that no clinical symptoms occur, although there may be some persistent abnormality on neurological examination such as persistent hyperactive reflexes. On other occasions even the reflexes may return to normal. It all depends on where in the nervous system the MS attack occurred, how severe the damage was, ans how well the body repaired the attacked area. Unfortunately there is no simple or guaranteed way to predict in individual patients whether the reflexes will stay hyperactive or not. The only predicatable thing about multiple sclerosis is that it is unpredictable!!! Please remember that the information we provide on the forum is intended for general medical informational purposes only, and that the actual diagnosis and treatment of your specific medical condition should be strictly in conjunction with your treating physician(s). If you would be interested in an evaluation for multiple sclerosis management at the Cleveladn Clinic, we have the Mellen Center, one of the world's most renowned centers for the treatment of MS. Our number is 1-800-223-2273. Ask for Mellen Center appointments.





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