Hard question. Some of us have continuous and/or paroxysmal symptoms and we have "attacks." By definition, an attack has to last more than 24 hours.
My 1st attach was optic neuritis and it lasted a couple of weeks before it started to improve and improvement continued for months. My second attack was Trigeminal Neuralgia. It lasted a month until the medication got to a certain level. If I forget to take the medication, it comes back. My third attack was Optic Neuritis (AGAIN) and I'm still dealing with it after IVSM and about 5 weeks. I guess it is improving, but my vision is still wonky.
Under the new 2010 McDonald Criteria, "An attack (relapse; exacerbation) is defined as patient-reported or objectively observed events typical of an acute inflammatory
demyelinating event in the CNS, current or historical, with duration of at least 24 hours, in the absence of fever or infection. It should be documented by contemporaneous neurological examination, but some historical events with symptoms and evolution characteristic for MS, but for which no objective neurological findings are documented, can provide reasonable evidence of a prior demyelinating event. Reports of paroxysmal symptoms (historical or current) should, however, consist of multiple episodes occurring over not less than 24 hours. Before a definite diagnosis of MS can be made, at least 1 attack must be corroborated by findings on neurological examination, visual evoked potential response in patients reporting prior visual disturbance, or MRI consistent with demyelination in the area of the CNS implicated in the historical report of neurological symptoms."
I've been wondering the same thing. Just when I think my symptoms are subsiding my legs starts spasming again or my face starts to tingle again. When does it all go away and I go into a period of recovery or remission or whatever it's called?
In PPMS and SPMS, there is little to no "remitting" phase. Most attacks happen, bring on new symptoms that exist until the next attack adds to it. RRMS has to have some level of "recovery" (it doesn't need to be a full recovery) from the attacks.