The presence of symptoms of primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS) and the degree to which they affect a person might vary greatly.
A few more major or minor symptoms of PPMS include:
- Weakness and tiredness
- Bladder and bowel dysfunction
- Sexual dysfunction
Besides those above, learn the six most common symptoms of primary progressive multiple sclerosis below.
6 common symptoms of primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS)
- When the neck is flexed too much, you may experience electric shocks that go down the back and limbs (Lhermitte sign).
- Because of PPMS, you may suffer from pain (for example, headaches, pain in the legs, feet, and back pain, and muscle spasms).
- Difficulty walking: Recent research has found that many people with PPMS were still able to walk years after receiving a diagnosis. However, generally, patients tended to get worse with time. This deterioration often had an impact on the individual's ability to walk and was less likely to induce visual problems or tremors.
- Problems in vision: Roughly half of those who have multiple sclerosis will, at some point in their lives, have at least one relapse. It is often the first manifestation of the illness in a person. Optic neuritis may be caused by several illnesses. Thus, its presence does not always indicate that a person has or will develop multiple sclerosis (MS). In most cases, the symptoms of ocular neuritis appear suddenly.
- Paralysis: Muscle stiffness or spasms are possible complications for those who have MS. Paralysis most often affects the legs.
- Problem with balance: People who suffer from multiple sclerosis often have a faltering stride. Damage to the cerebellum may lead to problems with balance and coordination because the cerebellum is responsible for controlling and correcting all the body's motions. This may even make it difficult to hold tiny things, maintain good handwriting, or keep your hand stable when writing.
Complications of PPMS
If you have primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS), you most likely sought medical attention for the first time because you had difficulty walking or weakness in your legs. Those are the symptoms of this kind of multiple sclerosis (MS) that are seen the most often.
PPMS becomes worse with time and has almost no symptom-free period. It is difficult to estimate how quickly that will happen or how much impairment it will create because there is a lot of variation in these two factors. You won't have relapses or remissions like people with other kinds of multiple sclerosis do.
Why is PPMS hard to diagnose?
Progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS) affects only around 10 to 15 percent of people who have the condition. People with PPMS are often diagnosed at a later age in life than those who have other varieties.
The diagnosis of PPMS might be challenging for medical professionals. Every person who has this complicated condition experiences its symptoms uniquely. Before physicians can identify that your condition is getting worse, you can have symptoms for a few years but no severe flares.
What causes PPMS?
It is still unknown what exactly causes primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS) or multiple sclerosis (MS). The most widely held belief is that MS occurs when the body's immune system begins to assault the central nervous system; this has environmental and genetic predispositions.
- Myelin, the protective layer that surrounds neurons in the central nervous system, is lost because of this condition.
- Although medical professionals do not think that PPMS may be passed on from parent to child, there is a possibility that it has a hereditary component.
- Some people believe that multiple sclerosis might have been caused by a virus or an environmental toxin, in conjunction with a hereditary susceptibility to the disorder.
How is PPMS treated?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) for the treatment of primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS) and active secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS) with relapses. The drug works primarily by reducing inflammation in the central nervous system (CNS). If your PPMS is advanced and already resulted in nerve sheath scarring, it may not help you much.
In addition to treatment with a disease-modifying therapy, intravenous steroids and rehabilitation strategies may help individuals with PPMS.
Cleveland Clinic. Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (PPMS). https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/14202-primary-progressive-multiple-sclerosis-ppms
Ontaneda D, Fox RJ. Progressive multiple sclerosis. Curr Opin Neurol. 2015;28(3):237-243. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4425257/
Top What Are Symptoms of Primary Progressive MS Related Articles
MS (Multiple Sclerosis) vs. ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis)ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Lou Gehrig's disease) and MS (multiple sclerosis) are both diseases of the nervous system (neurodegenerative). ALS is a disease in which the nerve cells in the body are attacked by the immune system, although it's not considered an autoimmune disease by some scientists. MS is an autoimmune disease in which the insulated covering of the nerves (myelin sheath) in the CNS (central nervous system) degenerate, or deteriorate.
Scientists don't know the exact cause of either problem. However, they have discovered that mutations in the gene that produces the SOD1 enzyme were associated with some cases of familial ALS. Scientists also theorize that multiple sclerosis may be caused by infection or vitamin D deficiency. ALS occurs between 50-70 years of age (the average age of occurrence ALS is 55), and mostly affects men. While MS occurs between 20-60 years of age, and mostly affects women. About 30,000 people in the US have ALS, and an average of 5,000 new diagnoses per year (that's about 15 new cases per week). Worldwide, MS affects more than 2.3 million people, with about 10,000 new cases diagnosed each year (that's about 200 new diagnoses per week).
Some of the signs and symptoms of both diseases include muscle weakness, muscle spasms, problems walking, fatigue, slurred speech, and problems swallowing. ALS signs and symptoms that are different from MS include problems holding the head upright, clumsiness, muscle cramps and twitches, problems holding objects, and uncontrollable periods of laughing or crying. MS signs and symptoms that are different from ALS include vision problems, vertigo and balance problems, sexual problems, memory problems, depression, mood swings, and digestive problems.
There is no cure for either disease, however the prognosis and life expectancy are different. Multiple sclerosis is not a fatal condition, while ALS progresses rapidly and leads to death.
Alternative Treatment (CAM) for MSThe term alternative therapy, in general, is used to describe any medical treatment or intervention that has not been scientifically documented or identified as safe or effective for a specific condition. Alternative therapy encompasses a variety of disciplines that range from diet and exercise to mental conditioning to lifestyle changes.
Botox to Treat Multiple Sclerosis (MS)Botulinum toxin is a muscle-relaxing medication used to decrease spasticity related to multiple sclerosis and other neurological conditions. Botulinum toxin is derived from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. There are three types of botulinum toxin available for therapeutic use.
Can Stress Cause Multiple Sclerosis (MS)?Multiple sclerosis (MS) results when your immune system attacks the cells of the brain and spinal cord. It is an autoimmune disease, a condition in which the body's immune system is misdirected and attacks its own cells. Stress can make it difficult for a person to manage MS symptoms. Regular exercise and mindful eating have been found to control the stress levels and overall health of people with MS.
Is Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Contagious?Multiple sclerosis, or MS, is a degenerative disease of the covering around the nerves in the central nervous system (CNS). Researchers and doctors don't know the exact cause, but many theorize that it may be due to environmental triggers, an autoimmune disease, and viruses (infections). Symptoms and signs of MS include vision changes, paralysis, vertigo, heat intolerance, slurred speech, sexual dysfunction, and urinary incontinence (the inability to urinate). There's no vaccine or cure for MS, but the progression and symptoms of the disease can be treated.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Symptoms and TreatmentsMultiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms vary from person to person and can last for days to months without periods of remission. Symptoms of MS include sexual problems and problems with the bowel, bladder, eyes, muscles, speech, swallowing, brain, and nervous system. The early symptoms and signs of multiple sclerosis usually start between ages 20-40. MS in children, teens, and those over age 40 is rare. Treatment options for multiple sclerosis vary depending on the type and severity of symptoms. Medications may be prescribed to manage MS symptoms.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS)Multiple sclerosis or MS is an autoimmune disorder in which brain and spinal cord nerve cells become demyelinated. This damage results in symptoms that may include numbness, weakness, vertigo, paralysis, and involuntary muscle contractions. Different forms of MS can follow variable courses from relatively benign to life-threatening. MS is treated with disease-modifying therapies. Some MS symptoms can be treated with medications.
Making an MS Friendly HomeAdults with multiple sclerosis may be at risk for injuries, hazards, and falling at home. Some simple home modifications can protect your health and safety and facilitate fall prevention. Reduce your risk of accidents and prevent hazards with these tips.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and PregnancyMultiple sclerosis or MS is a central nervous system disease in which the immune system attacks the myelin sheath (the protective coating around nerves). Symptoms of MS include pain, sexual problems, fatigue, numbness and tingling, emotional changes, and depression.
Women who are pregnant and have multiple sclerosis may have more difficulty carrying a pregnancy. Multiple sclerosis does not affect ability to conceive, and does not seem to affect fertility. MS symptoms during pregnancy may stay the same or get better; however, they may worsen after giving birth. Pregnancy decreases the number of relapses, but flares increase in the first 3-6 months after delivery. Pregnant women with MS may carrying a pregnancy more difficult to tell when labor starts, and there is an increased need to use forceps or vacuum to assist with delivery or b7 C-section (Cesarean birth) increases.
Some treatment MS drugs may be safe to use during pregnancy; however, some drugs should not be taken, for example, baclofen (Gablofen, Lioresal), fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem), or solifenacin succinate (VESIcare), and most disease-modifying therapies (DMTs).
Talk with your healthcare team about vitamins, supplements, and medications that you are taking if you are pregnant and have MS.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Early Warning Signs and TypesMultiple sclerosis (MS) can be thought of as an immune-mediated inflammatory process involving different areas of the central nervous system (CNS) at various points in time. Early warning signs and symptoms of MS in children, teens, and adults are similar; however, children and teens with pediatric also may have seizures and a complete lack of energy. Adults with MS do not have these signs and symptoms. Other signs and symptoms of MS include inflammation of the optic nerve (optic neuritis), changes in vision, Wiping or having tissues around the eye and moving the eye may be painful, and double vision. There are four types of MS, relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS), secondary progressive MS (SPMS), primary progressive MS (PPMS), and progressive relapsing MD (PRMS).
MS QuizMultiple Sclerosis is a debilitating neurological condition. Take the MS Quiz to test your knowledge of the causes, symptoms, risks and treatments.
Famous Faces of MSLearn about celebrities, such as Montel Williams and Jack Osbourne, who are living with multiple sclerosis.
Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms PictureSymptoms of multiple sclerosis may be single or multiple and may range from mild to severe in intensity and short to long in duration. See a picture of Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms and learn more about the health topic.
Multiple Sclerosis: Signs of Multiple Sclerosis RelapseSigns of an MS relapse can vary in type and intensity. This WebMD slideshow lists some of the more common relapse symptoms.
Who Is at High Risk for Multiple Sclerosis?The cause of multiple sclerosis (MS) is not known. But scientists believe that a combination of various factors may put an individual at a higher risk for MS. These factors include immunologic factors, environmental factors, low vitamin D levels, smoking, obesity, Epstein-Barr virus, genetics, and the female gender.