Out of the 4 main types of MS, PPMS Multiple Sclerosis can be identified by its lack of relapses and the prominent findings seen in MRIs of RRMS patients. The continuation of a decline in function after the initial diagnosis of MS is the main characteristic of Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. Besides lacking in relapses, Primary Progressive MS must also have 2 of the following: a positive MRI scan with lesions on the brain, the spinal cord, or a positive spinal tap. The presence of T2 lesions on the spinal cord must total at least 2. T2 lesions are the ones that show up as bright spots on an MRI scan.
When scanning the brain for T2 lesions, there needs to be at least 9 visible or 4 visible and positive VEP as well. Visual Evoked Potential or Response is created as the eyes look at a test pattern and become stimulated. The VEP test requires electrodes to be taped to the head, in order to record the brain waves produced as the test patterns are shown to the subject.
The spinal tap, or lumbar puncture, can be a difficult test used to diagnose for MS. Two specific findings are needed through this test to diagnose PPMS. One of them is observing the presence of certain types of proteins that are seen in the cerebrospinal fluid of nearly 90 percent of MS patients. Besides the oligoclonal bands being visible, IgG antibody production must also be obvious. These antibodies only show up when the white blood cells have made their way into the spinal fluid.
Fingolimod PPMS Treatment
Fingolimod is an injectable medication used to treat people with relapsing forms of MS. This medication reduces the number of flare-ups, or exacerbations, MS patients have, as well as slow down the amount of physical disability that comes with the disease over time. Even though fingolimod has yet to show any improvement in PPMS patients, some continue to take it. The side effects of this MS drug include; slowed heart rate, risk of infections, macular edema, reduction in lung volume, liver damage, and a rise in blood pressure.
People rarely experience a PPMS CIS, or clinically isolated syndrome. RRMS is generally the form of Multiple Sclerosis that begins with a CIS. PPMS Multiple Sclerosis tends to develop around 10 years after a diagnosis of Relapsing Remitting MS has been made. Treatment for PPMS symptoms is the same as for any other form of Multiple Sclerosis, but all of the medications used for slowing the progression of this disease remain useless for the Primary Progressive form.