Relapse Multiple Sclerosis is also known as RRMS and it is the type of MS diagnosed most often in patients. Experiencing relapse MS can be frustrating, due to the abundance of symptoms associated with it and the way they tend to come and go. The good thing is that a remission period in between relapses can last as long as a decade. RRMS is diagnosed not only with the types of symptoms being experienced, but also the way they manifest and disappear over time. Periods of remission allow patients with RRMS to recover from each relapse. The recovery might be full or partial, depending on the person. Another aspect used to diagnose RRMS is that the disease doesn’t get any worse in between the relapses or attacks, whereas other forms of MS are more progressive and disability is prevalent.

An MRI can be used to tell if a relapse is in fact occurring. The presence of MS symptoms tend to be the initial signal that a relapse is happening, but an MRI will show the inflammation in the brain and spinal cord areas as well. Gadolinium can be injected into an MS patient to enable the MRI scan to pick up any active lesions. This colorless dye causes the inflamed areas to show up as bright areas on the MRI. Whether the symptoms are mild, moderate, or severe, the inflammation will still appear on the scan.


Treating this Common form of MS


Treatments strategies fall under long-term and short-term when talking about treating RRMS. Disease-modifying medications are part of the long-term strategy. Commonly used drugs include; natalizumab, mitoxantrone, fingolimod, and interferon-1a and 1b. These medications are prescribed to help reduce the number of relapses which in turn slows down the progression of the disease. There are also drugs prescribed to help MS patients deal with pain, muscle spasms, mobility issues, difficulty thinking, problems with balance, eye problems, memory loss, and issues with bladder or bowel control.

Drugs used for treating RRMS don’t cure it, by any means, but they can make life more comfortable and lessen the chance that the Relapse Multiple Sclerosis becomes a more advanced form. Mild symptoms may not need aggressive treatment. The severity of the symptoms is often the determining factor in how quickly treatment should be administered for a Relapse MS patient. Many neurologists issue steroids as soon as a relapse occurs, so as to speed up the recovery time and hopefully reduce the risk of another relapse in the near future.


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