Dr Jean Martin Charcot made the first documentation of Multiple Sclerosis in 1868. The 4 different forms of MS weren’t standardized until 1996. These forms of Multiple Sclerosis include; relapsing remitting, secondary progressive, primary progressive, and progressive relapsing. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society felt there was a need to create subgroups of MS, both for accurate prognosis and treatment.
Relapsing-remitting MS is the most common type of MS diagnosed. Around 75 to 85 percent of the people with MS experience signs and symptoms of RRMS first. It includes a range of signs and symptoms that can be mild to severe. The symptoms may come and go for days or months at a time. Symptoms include numbness, tingling, fatigue, weakness in limbs, lack of coordination, and these are just a few. Around 50 symptoms are associated with MS, but people don’t generally have all of them at once. People with RRMS will go through a remission period for an unknown length of time before experiencing a relapse when symptoms appear again.
Secondary-progressive MS usually develops after RRMS and is characterized by a similar pattern of remission and relapsing similar, but the disabilities actually progress instead of fading away between cycles, as it does in RRMS. SPMS is often diagnosed around 10 years after an initial diagnosis of RRMS has been made.
Primary-progressive MS only occurs in around 10 percent of the population with MS. No remission is experienced with this form of MS, just a slow, steady progression of the disease. Rarely does the intensity of symptoms decrease at all with PPMS.
Progressive-relapsing is even rarer than PPMS, with only 5 percent of MS patients being diagnosed with it. Patients with PRMS experience acute relapses, no remission, and a steady progression of symptoms.
Treatment for Various Forms of MS
Although no cure for MS has been found yet, there are many medications and other forms of treatment used to make MS patients as comfortable as possible. Most medications for MS are given via injection, except for fingolimod, which is an oral medication for Multiple Sclerosis. Leading a relatively pain-free and retaining as much mobility as can be had, is important to people with MS.
Different forms of MS drugs are used to slow the progression of the disease, reduce the amount of symptoms experienced, prevent pain, stop attacks, and prevent attacks from occurring in the future. Most forms of Multiple Sclerosis medications work for RRMS, since the more progressive forms of MS don’t seem to be phased by drugs used to slow down progression of MS.