Did you know that about 85% of individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS) are initially diagnosed with what is known as relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS)? RRMS is the most common type of MS and here is what you need to know…
MS, which is common with over 200,000 cases per year in the United States, is a chronic, progressive condition that affects the central nervous system. Your immune system attacks the protective layer around the nerve fibers, also known as myelin.
This attack damages myelin and causes the nerves to become inflamed, making it difficult for your brain to communicate with the rest of your body.
RRMS describes the inflammatory attacks on the myelin and nerve fibers, indicated by relapses of new or worsening symptoms with intervals of remission or recovery in between.
When these attacks happen, localized, small areas of damage leading to the production of MS symptoms are caused by activated immune cells.
RRMS can be active (relapses and/or evidence of new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) activity over a specified period), not active, worsening (confirmed increase in disability following relapse), or not worsening.
The attacks are followed by partial or complete remission periods. During the remission period, all symptoms may disappear, or some symptoms may continue and become permanent.
How is RRMS Any Different From MS?
Progressive forms of MS involve fewer attacks, while RRMS involves attacks or relapses of new MS symptoms. In addition, those with more progressive forms of MS are also usually diagnosed in their 40s or 50s, while those with RRMS are diagnosed earlier, usually in their 20s and 30s. Other differences that occur in RRMS: