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What are the different types of multiple sclerosis?

There are four types of multiple sclerosis which are described.

1. Relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS)

Relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) is the most common form of multiple sclerosis.

People with this form of multiple sclerosis develop symptoms which respond to treatment and then resolve. The development of symptoms is often referred to as an exacerbation of the disease. Episodes of remission may last for weeks to years.

2. Secondary-progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS)

Secondary-progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS) is diagnosed when the problems caused by an exacerbation don't fully resolve during a remission. This often occurs in patients who were initially diagnosed with RRMS. Over time, patients are identified with progressive debility.

3. Primary-progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS)

Primary-progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS) progresses over time, without episodes of remission or improvement of symptoms.

4. Progressive-relapsing multiple sclerosis (PRMS)

Progressive-relapsing multiple sclerosis (PRMS) is identified when patients experience escalating symptoms over time, as well as intermittent episodes of remission.

Return to Multiple Sclerosis (MS Symptoms, Causes, and Life Expectancy)

See what others are saying

Comment from: Sya, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: February 02

I am a patient with 9 relapses of multiple sclerosis. It took me sometime to accept but I guess I am a bit okay from the rest. I am happy, enjoying my life right now. It is just that I can't handle any stress for the time being. Being an RRMS (relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis) patient makes me feel more grateful with all the parts of the body that can be fully occupied.

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Comment from: harleygirl13, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 26

My first multiple sclerosis (MS) symptom was numbness in the fingers on my left hand. It only happened once in a while and I didn't think too much about it until I had nystagmus about 1 1/2 years ago. Then the balance and dizziness issues started as well as tingling in my left arm and right foot. The ophthalmologist I saw asked me how much I drink in a week! My answer was a firm 'nothing'! I also developed a headache that lasted about 2 weeks. The first neurologist I saw diagnosed me with migraines even though I've never had one in my life! I had no typical symptoms of that. I had all the standard testing for MS which only showed a small brain lesion. The second neurologist ordered different tests for other diseases, all of which showed nothing. My symptoms subsided until recently. I began dropping things and losing the dexterity in my fingers, have severe fatigue and muscle weakness. A horrible itch began on my chest with no rash present. I sometimes can't walk straight and fall onto walls and I get random prickles in my hands and legs. I am getting a new MRI tomorrow and hope to get a firm diagnosis from that. My neurologist is also testing me for myasthenia gravis disease.

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Comment from: amartin7199, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 16

I have primary progressive MS, and I'm 46 years old. I was diagnosed in 2005. I tried a lot of different medications, and now I'm taking Gilenya. I have 49 lesions on my brain. I also have a pain pump, which is a Godsend, to help deal with the pain. I also suffer a lot of fatigue, cramping, spasms in my neck, my hands, feet, calves, and thighs, and I'll spasm on either the right or the left side of my upper back. I have balance issues, memory problems, and headaches. I take it one day at a time. I pray for Christ's strength to get me through the day. That is the only way I can get through this. Christ gives me courage and faith.

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