By: Researcher Taymur
Understanding Multiple Sclerosis Types
It is believed that multiple sclerosis (MS) is an infectious, inflammatory disease that affects the central nervous system and peripheral nerves.
The cause remains unknown, but some studies Trusted Source indicate a connection between the Epstein Barr Virus, while others Trusted Source indicate environmental factors, lack of vitamin D, or parasites as a stimulus of the central nervous system’s persistent immune response. It can be unstable and damaged in some situations. All forms of MS, however, are not the same.
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS) defined four separate categories to better differentiate between the different types of the disease.
Understanding 4 Types of MS
In 1996, the NMSS interviewed a group of scientists involved in MS patient care and study to precisely identify the various forms of MS. Therefore the company classified the condition into four main categories after evaluating the responses of the scientists.
These course definitions have been updated to reflect progress in research in 2013. We are:
- clinically isolated syndrome (CIS)
- relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS)
- primary-progressive MS (PPMS)
- secondary-progressive MS (SPMS)
1st is Clinically Isolated Syndrome
Clinically isolated syndrome (CIS) is a single, 24-hour or longer episode of neurological symptoms. So you cannot relate the symptoms to fever, illness, or any other disease. Because these are the product of the central nervous system’s inflammation and demyelination.
Therefore you may only have one (monofocal) or several (multifocal) symptoms.
So you might never experience another episode if you have CIS. Similarly this episode may be your first assault on MS.
However if an MRI shows brain abnormalities similar to those found in people with MS, within a few years there is a 60 to 80 percent chance that you will have another episode and an MS diagnosis.
Therefore at this time, if an MRI identifies older lesions in another portion of your central nervous system, you may have an MS diagnosis. So that would mean you had an attack before, even if you didn’t know about it.
Because your doctor may also diagnose MS if there are oligoclonal bands in your cerebrospinal fluid.
2nd is Relapsing-Remitting MS
However the most common type is MS (RRMS) relapsing. So according to the NMSS, at the time of diagnosis, about 85% of people with MS have this type.
Because when you have RRMS, you may experience: clearly defined relapses or flare-ups that result in episodes of intensive deterioration of your neurological function,
Therefore partial or complete remissions or recovery periods after relapses and between attacks when the disease stops
So the progressing from mild to severe symptoms, as well as relapses and remissions that last for days or months.
3rd is Primary Progressive MS
While the vast majority of people with MS have the diagnosis of RRMS, some are diagnosed with the disease’s advanced form: primary-progressive MS (PPMS) and secondary-progressive MS (SPMS).
Therefore each of these forms means that without treatment the disease continues to worsen.
Since its conception, this type of MS progresses slowly but steadily. Symptoms remain unabated at the same level of intensity and there are no periods of remission. In essence, the worsening of their condition is experienced by patients with PPMS.
So nevertheless, the rate of development over the duration of the disease may vary as well as the likelihood of slight (usually temporary) changes and occasional plateaus in the progression of the symptoms.
Because the NMSS estimates that at the onset of the condition, about 15% of people with MS have PPMS.
4th is Secondary Progressive MS
SPMS is a mixed bag. Therefore it may initially entail a period of relapse-remitting activity, with flare-ups of symptoms followed by periods of recovery. Therefore yet between periods, MS’s illness does not vanish.
So alternatively, a gradual deterioration of the condition follows this phase of fluctuation. Because people with SPMS may experience in their symptom’s slight remissions or plateaus, but this is not always the case.
Therefore without treatment, within a decade, approximately half of people with RRMS will develop SPMS.