Daily News for Neuros, Nurses & Savvy MSers: 208,152 Viewers, 8,368 Stories & Studies
Click Here For My Videos, Advice, Tips, Studies and Trials.
Timothy L. Vollmer, MD
Department of Neurology
University of Colorado Health Sciences Center Professor

Co-Director of the RMMSC at Anschutz Medical Center

Medical Director-Rocky Mountain MS Center
Click here to read my columns
Brian R. Apatoff, MD, PhD
Multiple Sclerosis Institute
Center for Neurological Disorders

Associate Professor Neurology and Neuroscience,

Weill Medical College of Cornell University

Clinical Attending in Neurology,
New York-Presbyterian Hospital
You'll get FREE Breaking News Alerts on new MS treatments as they are approved

HERE'S A FEW OF OUR 6000+ Facebook & MySpace FRIENDS
Timothy L. Vollmer M.D.
Department of Neurology
University of Colorado Health Sciences Center
Co-Director of the RMMSC at Anschutz Medical Center
Medical Director-Rocky Mountain MS Center

Click to view 1280 MS Walk photos!

"MS Can Not
Rob You of Joy"
"I'm an Mom has MS and we have a message for everyone."
- Jennifer Hartmark-Hill MD
Beverly Dean

"I've had MS for 2 years...this is the most important advice you'll ever hear."
"This is how I give myself a painless injection."
Heather Johnson

"A helpful tip for newly diagnosed MS patients."
"Important advice on choosing MS medication "
Joyce Moore

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?



Types of MS: Differences in Symptoms and Outlook

Types of MS

There are five primary types, or disease courses, of MS. By determining the specific type of MS a person has, doctors and researchers can focus their treatments and studies to produce better results.

Clinically isolated syndrome (CIS)
This is considered the first of the MS types. To be diagnosed with CIS, the neurologic symptoms that are caused by inflammation or the loss of myelin must last 24 hours. CIS may lead to other types of MS, but some people with CIS never progress.

Relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS)
This is the most common form of MS, and it accounts for approximately 80 to 85 percent of initial diagnoses of MS. RRMS involves clear episodes of inflammatory activity and well-defined attacks of new or recurrent neurologic symptoms. A person with RRMS will typically experience full or partial recovery between episodes.

With RRMS, the disease does not progress between relapses. 

Primary-progressive MS (PPMS)
This type of MS is less common, accounting for about 10 to 15 percent of all cases. With PPMS, neurological function is impaired and gets worse as the disease progresses. People with PPMS do experience occasional plateaus in progression of the disease. There may be temporary, minor improvements to the symptoms during progression, but there are no relapses.

Secondary-progressive MS (SPMS)
SPMS is normally seen as the next stage of the disease for people who already have RRMS. Around 50 percent of people with RRMS develop SPMS within 10 years, and nearly 90 percent do so after 25 years.

SPMS is similar to RRMS, but it may or may not involve occasional relapses, minor remissions, and plateaus. 

Progressive-relapsing MS (PRMS)
PRMS is considered to be a progressive form of MS from the beginning. There are clear, acute relapses with or without full recovery between the relapses. But for people who have PRMS, the disease will continue to progress between relapses. Some doctors think that PRMS may be a subtype of PPMS as they share a similar history. 

How do symptoms differ?

Symptoms vary from person to person. Even if people have the same type of MS, the symptoms may present differently.

However, some symptoms are commonly associated with all types of MS.

These include: 

  • Numbness and tingling 

  • Fatigue 

  • Weakness 

  • Vision problems
  • Dizziness or coordination problems

While people with different types of MS may show similar symptoms, people with a particular type of the disease are likely to present specific symptoms.

For example, people with RRMS often experience tingling or numbness, episodes of visual loss in one or the other eye, urinary urgency, double vision, fatigue, weakness, and balance problems.

By contrast, PPMS typically causes less damage to the brain but has more effect on the spinal cord. People with this type of the disease may have problems walking, stiff legs, and trouble with balance.

Unlike with RRMS, these symptoms get progressively worse and there are no periods of relapse between them. SPMS features less distinct periods of relapse. A person with SPMS may have symptoms, such as bowel and bladder problems, weakness and coordination issues, stiff and tight legs, depression, fatigue, and problems with thinking.

People who have PRMS are more likely to experience muscle spasms, weak muscles, chronic pain, decreased sexual arousal, vision changes, dizziness, and decreased bladder functions.

Diagnosing MS
A person who has CIS may have similar symptoms as someone with MS, but they will have experienced the symptoms just once.

To be diagnosed with MS, a person must display evidence of damage in at least two separate areas of their CNS, such as the brain, the spinal cord, and the optic nerves. The problems must have occurred at least one month apart. Other conditions may have similar symptoms, so a doctor will need to rule out all other possible diagnoses. 

How do treatments differ?

The most common treatment is medication.

Medication regimens vary greatly between people and doses may be weekly or monthly.

The effectiveness of the treatment depends on the type of MS. For example, people with RRMS and PRMS are receptive to disease-modifying medications that reduce the number of relapses. These may also reduce disabilities and disease activity.

Some researchers have suggested that a lack of vitamin D may be a possible factor in the progression of MS.

By contrast, people with PPMS and SPMS are less responsive to medications.

Instead, treatment aims to control symptoms only partly with medications. Doctors recommend people with these types of MS take exercise, ensure they eat a healthful diet, and get some physical therapy. Research indicates that some progressive forms of MS may respond to high levels of biotin, a B vitamin.

People with MS may find that these alternative treatments can lessen symptoms and improve quality of life.

When to see a doctor
Anyone experiencing any of the symptoms of MS should seek medical advice.

An early diagnosis of MS can lead to a more effective management of symptoms. Catching the disease early may even slow the course of the disease.

How does the outlook differ for different types?
It is difficult to predict how each type of MS will directly affect a person or which type has the best outlook.

However, RRMS tends to have a better outlook as there may be years between flare-ups and the disease does not progress between episodes.

However, people with RRMS usually develop SPMS, which is progressive and is less responsive to medications.

PPMS and PRMS may be considered to have the worst outlooks because of the way they progress. They tend to be more debilitating, and the disease will progress even during a relapse, which may or may not occur.

Story Source: The above story is based on materials provided by MEDICALNEWSTODAY
Note: Materials may be edited for content and length

Labels: , ,

Go to Newer News Go to Older News