MS types are divided into 4 categories; RRMS, PPMS, SPMS, and PRMS. Relapsing Remitting MS is the most common form. People between the ages of 20 to 40 are usually who are diagnosed with this form of MS and generally twice as many women have MS than men do. Researchers believe hormones are linked to this ratio, but studies have yet to be conclusive of this speculation.

RRMS affects approximately 85 percent of MS patients and is diagnosed by observing the cycles of remission and relapses. Symptoms may come and go for years, without ever becoming more severe. Remission occurs when symptoms disappear altogether and a relapse is when they appear again. People with RRMS generally show no sign of disability during the remission period.

Primary Progressive MS only affects a small percentage of individuals and is characterized by the lack of distinct cycles of relapse and remission. The severity of symptoms and disability vary greatly over time, due to the rate of progression not having a specific pattern.

Secondary Progressive MS tends to follow RRMS. Around 50 percent of the individuals with RRMS will have SPMS within 10 years after a doctor has made the initial diagnoses of MS. Some MS patients have gone as long as 20 to 30 years before their RRMS has developed into SPMS. Researchers are still trying to find a way to prevent RRMS from progressing into SPMs.

Out of all MS types of this autoimmune disease, Progressive Relapsing MS affects the fewest people. It is also the most debilitating. PRMS gets progressively worse over time and no remissions are present.


Diagnosing a Multiple Sclerosis Type


MS is a disease that isn’t easy to diagnose with a single test. This is because the symptoms connected to Multiple Sclerosis are very similar to those seen in numerous other diseases. Doctors need to take into consideration the signs and symptoms an individual is experiencing, as well as administering a few tests. A sample of blood is taken to make sure the patient doesn’t have Lyme disease, HIV, or another disease that is detectable through blood tests. Both of these diseases have Multiple Sclerosis types of symptoms.

A lumbar puncture is used to check on the antibodies present in the cerebrospinal fluid. This technique isn’t used as often as it used to be, but it might be called for in some cases of MS. MRI scans are taken of the brain to see if any inflammation is present. As nerve cells are attacked, they become inflamed and will show up as a bright spot on an MRI. Inflammation may not be present if there are no symptoms present at the time, but older lesions might be visible. A combination of these tests are usually necessary to determine which of the MS types are currently affecting an individual, in order to determine what the next course of action will be.


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