One of the four types of MS includes the MS secondary progressive form.  The Multiple Sclerosis secondary progressive form is the stage that typically follows the relapsing-remitting stage.  This type of multiple sclerosis is found in most people who have been initially diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS.  The secondary progressive stage can begin between five and twenty years into the disease, the average being around ten years.  It is characterized by progressive worsening of classic MS symptoms, such as numbness and tingling, muscle weakness, and cognitive problems.  In this stage of multiple sclerosis, certain types of treatments are no longer as effective.  This can include medications such as Copaxone, Rebif, Avonex, and Betaseron.  At this point in the disease, medications can be switched around in order to find the one that will be most effective at treatment.

Rather than having cycles of remission and relapse, the MS secondary progressive form tends to be in a more constant state of symptomatic problems.  People in this state of the disease have a higher disability than those initially diagnosed.  They may have problems with walking or extended periods of activity, and more than one symptom of MS is often present at a time.  In neurological tests and exams, there may be more pronounced lesions and more abnormalities in shown in MRI scans.


Treatment Options For MS Secondary Progressive Form


Since the secondary progressive form is different than other forms of MS, it must be treated differently and on an individual basis.  It can be more challenging to treat the symptoms of secondary progressive form compared to the initial relapsing and remitting stage, since more lesions and neurological damage has occurred.  Medication is the first step in a treatment plan for multiple sclerosis.  There are regular medications to take to deal with the disease progression, as well as supplemental medications that can help with symptoms during flare-ups and relapses.  Most of these medications are only available in injection form.  These will be both prescribed and administered by a medical professional.

In addition to medications, lifestyle changes can be useful in handling the multiple sclerosis diagnosis.  Having a healthy diet, getting the right amount of exercise, and having a solid sleep schedule can help someone with MS keep their symptoms more under control.  It can also help reduce relapses or flare-ups.  Having the right combination of medicines and personal wellness can make all the difference in the presentation of secondary progressive multiple sclerosis.