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Multiple Sclerosis International
Volume 2013, Article ID 470476, 8 pages
Clinical Study

Assessing Relapse in Multiple Sclerosis Questionnaire: Results of a Pilot Study

1Department of Neurosciences, Loyola University Chicago, 2160 South First Avenue, Maywood, IL 60153, USA
2Neurology Center of Fairfax, 3020 Hamaker Court, Suite 400, Fairfax, VA 22031, USA
3South Florida Neurology Associates, 1601 Clint Moore Road, Suite 120, Boca Raton, FL 33487, USA
4Tanner Center and Foundation for MS, 509 Brookwood Boulevard, Suite 101, Birmingham, AL 35209, USA
5Neurology Center, 3907 Waring Road, Suite 2, Oceanside, CA 92056, USA
6Multiple Sclerosis Care Center of Neurological Services, 3849 Oakwater Circle, Orlando, FL 38206, USA
7Questcor Pharmaceuticals, 26118 Research Road, Hayward, CA 94545, USA

Received 27 December 2012; Accepted 17 April 2013

Academic Editor: Amy Waldman

Copyright © 2013 Amy Perrin Ross et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


There is need for a brief but comprehensive objective assessment tool to help clinicians evaluate relapse symptoms in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and their impact on daily functioning, as well as response to treatment. The 2-part Assessing Relapse in Multiple Sclerosis (ARMS) questionnaire was developed to achieve these aims. Part 1 consists of 7 questions that evaluate relapse symptoms, impact on activities of daily living (ADL), overall functioning, and response to treatment for previous relapses. Part 2 consists of 7 questions that evaluate treatment response in terms of symptom relief, functioning, and tolerability. The ARMS questionnaire has been evaluated in 103 patients with MS. The most commonly reported relapse symptoms were numbness/tingling (67%), fatigue (58%), and leg/foot weakness (55%). Over half of patients reported that ADL or overall functioning were affected very much (47%) or severely (11%) by relapses. Prescribed treatments for relapses included intravenous and/or oral corticosteroids (87%) and adrenocorticotropic hormone (13%). Nearly half of patients reported that their symptoms were very much (33%) or completely resolved (16%) following treatment. The most commonly reported adverse events were sleep disturbance (45%), mood changes (33%), weight gain (29%), and increased appetite (26%). Systematic assessment of relapses and response to relapse treatment may help clinicians to optimize outcomes for MS patients.