MS Primary Progressive differs from the other 3 types of MS in the way the symptoms present themselves. Multiple Sclerosis Primary Progressive is commonly referred to as PPMS. This autoimmune disease is a more advanced stage of Relapsing Remitting MS. There aren’t any real breaks between relapses and remissions in PPMS, the way there is with RRMS. The disease seems to get worse over time and causes neurologic functions to become worse as the disease progresses. The rate at which progression occurs is usually rather steady.

People who have gone from RRMS to PPMS might become fearful of what the future holds. The vast amount of research done over the years has enabled MS patients in all stages of the disease to continue living long, happy lives. Only around 10 to 15 percent of MS patients develop PPMS and it affects both men and women at an equal rate. This aspect is different than RRMS, in which women are diagnosed twice as often as men are. Also, the age of people diagnosed with PPMS is usually in between the range of 40s and 50s.


Symptoms of PPMS


Primary Progressive MS symptoms can begin as very subtle changes, such as a slight shuffle when walking. As time goes by, this gentle shuffle can turn into a more prominent way of walking, due to the progression of the disease. The number of symptoms associated with PPMS is plentiful and the types of symptoms experienced will differ between MS patients. Without the presence of relapsing-remitting cycles, it may be difficult to see major physical changes at first.

Symptoms that tend to be most prominent in PPMS include; painful sensory changes, fatigue, tingling, numbness, and stiff muscles. Thankfully medications can be used to alleviate these symptoms. It seems that the most common problem PPMS patients have involves walking. This could range from a slight shuffle to difficulty running or tripping when climbing stairs. As time goes on, people with Primary Progressive MS can develop weakness in both legs and sometimes the leg muscles become stiff too.

Difficulty with the legs is thought to be connected to the amount of lesions found on the spinal cord, since muscle control of the legs is managed by the spinal cord. It isn’t rare for cognitive problems to occur in people with MS Primary Progressive, due to the lesions found on the brain. Though present in some, most people with Multiple Sclerosis Primary Progressive have only mild cases where their memory or thinking abilities are affected.


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