Types of Multiple Sclerosis• Relapsing-Remitting MS• Primary-Progressive MS• Secondary-Progressive MS• Progressive-Relapsing MS
Relapsing-Remitting MS• This type of MS causes individuals to experience clearly deﬁned attacks of worsening neurologic function. These attacks, called relapses, ﬂare-ups, or exacerbations, are followed by partial or complete recovery periods, called remissions, during which no disease progression occurs. Approximately 85% of people are initially diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS.
Primary-Progressive MS• This disease course is characterized by slowly worsening neurologic function from the beginning. There is no distinct relapses or remissions in this type. The rate of progression may vary over time, with occasional plateaus and temporary minor improvements. Approximately 10% of people are diagnosed with primary- progressive MS.
Secondary-Progressive MS• Following an initial period of relapsing-remitting MS, many people develop a secondary- progressive disease course in which the disease worsens more steadily, with or without occasional ﬂare-ups, minor recoveries, called remissions, or plateaus. Before medications became available, approximately 50% of people with relapsing-remitting MS developed this form of the disease within 10 years.
Progressive-Relapsing MS• In this type, people experience steadily worsening disease from the beginning, but with clear attacks of worsening neurologic function along the way. They may or may not experience some recovery following these relapses, but the disease continues to progress without remissions. This is rare and approximately only 5% of people with MS have this type.
Diagnosing Multiple Sclerosis• There is no simple test that leads to the diagnosis of MS. • An accurate diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis is based on a person’s neurological medical history and a complete neurological exam.• Approximately 10% of people that are diagnosed with MS do not have MS, but instead, just have reoccurring symptoms that may mimic the symptoms of MS. • Lab samples are taken of the patients blood, MRIs of the brain are given, Spinal Taps are conducted, and Evoked potentials [electrical lab testing that examines if a person’s nerve pathways have been destroyed by MS] are performed. • If any of these tests are completely normal, it still does not rule out that the person has MS
Men v. Women and Multiple Sclerosis• Women are more likely to develop MS than men. • At least 3 women suffer from MS for every 2 men affected by it. In some regions the difference is 2:1. • Men develop the symptoms of MS typically at a later age in life than women do.• The average age for women to have the MS symptoms begin is 25 whereas men tend to develop symptoms at an average age of 28. • Women are likely to develop symptoms at the age of sexual hormone activity essential for fertility.
What’s linked to Multiple Sclerosis?• MS is said to have been linked to Lupus. Lupus and MS are both autoimmune diseases. They both :• Have an onset in early adulthood. • Affect women more often than men, The ratio is much greater in Lupus than it is in MS, though. • Genetic vulnerability is paired with environmental trauma to bring about the condition. • Are chronic conditions, requiring life-long treatment. • Are characterized by a pattern of sickness interspersed with remission.• Lupus and MS have many symptoms in common. Both are characterized by extreme fatigue, inﬂammation, headaches, and muscle stiffness. Both can result in changes in thinking and feeling such as disordered thinking, poor memory, and depression.
National MS Society “The National MS Society is a collective of passionate individuals who want to do something about MS now—to move together toward a world free of multiple sclerosis. MS stops people from moving. We exist to make sure it doesnt. We help each person address the challenges of living with MS through our 50-state network of chapters. The Society helps people affected by MS by funding cutting-edge research, driving change through advocacy, facilitating professional education, and providing programs and services that help people with MS and their families move their lives forward.• We are moving research forward by relentlessly pursuing prevention, treatment and cure.• We are moving to reach out and respond to individuals, families and communities living with multiple sclerosis.• We are moving politicians and legislation to champion the needs of people with MS through activism, advocacy and inﬂuence.• We are moving to mobilize the millions of people who want to do something about MS now. Join the Movement!” • [ http://www.nationalmssociety.org/about-the-society/index.aspx ]
Sources• Multiple Sclerosis Fact Book, Second Edition, Lechtenberg, M.D., Philadelphia, 1995.• MS and Your Feelings, Shadday LCSW, Alameda, 2007.• Managing the Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis, Schapiro, M.D., New York, 2003. • Multiple Sclerosis Q&A, Hill, New York, 2003.• Living With Progressive Multiple Sclerosis, Coyle, New York, 2003.• Cynthia Manteck [My Mom…She’s had MS for 20 years and is an incredibly positive woman]• Pictures – Kelly Manteck Photography