Do You Know The Different Types of Multiple Sclerosis?
Unless you’re one of the nearly 1 million Americans living with multiple sclerosis, then you might not be aware that not one, but four types of MS actually exist. Whether you’ve recently been diagnosed with MS or you have a close friend or family member with the disease, here’s what to expect from each form in terms of how it affects the body because as Dr. Maya Angelou always used to say, “When you know better, you do better!”
1. Relapsing-remitting Multiple Sclerosis (RRMS)
Approximately 85 percent of MS patients are initially diagnosed with RRMS, making it the most common form of MS. RRMS is characterized by relapses, flare-ups and exacerbations followed by periods of remission during which the person’s symptoms may improve for a while. Most RRMS patients are diagnosed in their early 20s.
2. Primary-progressive Multiple Sclerosis (PPMS)
PPMS is an uncommon form of MS that only occurs in 10 percent of MS patients and is characterized by slowly-worsening symptoms without any relapses or remissions. Most people with PPMS tend to be around the age of 40 when diagnosed with this form.
3. Secondary-progressive Multiple Sclerosis (SPMS)
At some point during their lives, the majority of MS patients who are diagnosed with RRMS will develop SPMS – usually 10-20 years after their initial diagnosis. With this form of MS, the symptoms slowly worsen over time minus the relapses and remission periods.
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4. Progressive-relapsing Multiple Sclerosis (PRMS)
Say hello to the least common form of MS, which is characterized by periodic relapses or attacks without recovery, increasing the person’s chances of becoming disabled. And since only 5 percent of MS patients are diagnosed with PRMS, very little is known about it compared to the other forms.