Research shows that Blacks may develop multiple sclerosis more often than previously thought. Additionally, the symptoms of the disease can progress more quickly or have a higher severity. Still, there are a few general principles that hold true when it comes to the stages of the disease. If you know what to expect with each stage, you’ll be able to identify the difference between when your multiple sclerosis is progressing and when your symptoms need to be managed more effectively.
The Different Stages Of Multiple Sclerosis
There are currently four different stages of multiple sclerosis.
The first is called clinically isolated syndrome (CIS) and in some cases, isn’t considered to be a true diagnosis of the disease.
However, this is when most people start to experience the symptoms.
The second stage is relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS), in which people experience a distinctive cycle of relapses and remissions with their symptoms. It’s estimated that over 80 percent of people are officially diagnosed at this stage.
The third stage is secondary-progressive MS (SPMS). At this stage, there are fewer instances of remission of the symptoms of multiple sclerosis.
Finally, the fourth stage is primary-progressive MS (PPMS). This form of the disease is rare, however, as it only affects approximately 15% of people who have MS. In this stage, the disease progresses quickly with no periods of remission.
Signs That Your MS Is Changing
The two factors to look out for when your multiple sclerosis changes are the progression of your symptoms as well as the cycle of remissions and relapses.
Typically, people move from stage 2 to stage 3 of the disease. In stage 2 (RRMS), you’ll have periods of