MS Types and Stages of MS Progression
Types of Multiple Sclerosis
Learn about the four primary types of multiple sclerosis including Relapsing-Remitting MS, Primary-Progressive MS, Secondary-Progressive MS, and Progressive-Relapsing MS. While the early stages of MS may differ depending on the type of multiple sclerosis an individual may have, the progression of MS symptoms may steadily worsen over time with advanced stages of MS significantly impairing the patient from completing everyday tasks.
Relapsing-Remitting MS (RRMS)
R15% of MS patients are diagnosed with primary-progressive multiple sclerosis. Primary-progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS) is a form of MS. It involves less inflammation, but more nerve damage than the relapsing-remitting form of MS (RRMS).
Treatments for PPMS fall into two broad categories. There are medications that control the disease process, and treatments that help control your symptoms. Treating PPMS tends to be more difficult than treating the relapsing type. There’s only one medication specifically approved for treating PPMS. A large part of your treatment plan will involve symptom management and rehabilitation.
In general, the stages of multiple sclerosis gradually become worse over time. The rate of an individual’s progression of MS varies greatly among people with primary-progressive multiple sclerosis.
Secondary-Progressive MS (SPMS)
Patients with this MS type have a slow but steady worsening of MS symptoms, but no longer have remission periods. The majority of people diagnosed with secondary-progressive multiple sclerosis were also diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS. About 50% of patients originally diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS develop secondary-progressive MS within 10-15 years; however, this course of the disease may be changing with the introduction of disease-modifying medications. The effect of these MS medications on the progression of MS has yet to be observed. The progression of MS varies greatly for each individual; however, symptoms typically steadily worsen over time for patients diagnosed with secondary-progressive multiple sclerosis.
The above information is a compilation of several external sources such as Wikipedia, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the National MS Society. Please consult your doctor or a multiple sclerosis specialist for more detailed information about the types of multiple sclerosis and their stages of progression.