Friday, March 15, 2013

Are there different types of MS?

There are 4 different types of Multiple Sclerosis. They are characterized by disease progression and it is common for a person with one type to transition to another type over the course of a lifetime.
Types of MS
  • Relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS): This is the most common form of MS with roughly 85% of people with MS being diagnosed with RRMS. It is characterized by periods where symptoms get temporarily worse followed by periods where the symptoms get partially or completely better. The periods can lasts days or even years.
  • Primary-progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS): This is a less common form of MS affecting approximated 10% of people with MS. People with PPMS experience continuously worsening symptoms. The symptoms my level off for periods of time, but without improvement.
  • Secondary-progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS): This is a stage that people typically go through after RRMS. People with SPMS have occasional relapses but instead of a period of remission, some symptoms remain.
  • Progressive-relapsing multiple sclerosis (PRMS): This is the most rare form of MS affecting only 5% of the population. People with PRMS have symptoms that continuously get progressively worse, with no remittance or improvement.
I consider myself very fortunate - I have RRMS. When I was first diagnosed I went to several support groups and interacted with many people in the advanced stages of the other types of MS. Quite frankly, it was a scary and humbling experience. My heart goes out to all those whose boides are betraying them.

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