Expected duration of Multiple Sclerosis

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Apr 30, 2010

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Quick Bites

  • There are episodes when the symptoms get worse all of a sudden.
  • The condition of the patients tends to be stable i.e. without deterioration.
  • The symptoms of primary progressive MS get worse gradually.
  •  There may be a gradual deterioration in the functioning of the nerves.

Multiple sclerosis is a neurological disease that is generally disabling. It not only affects the brain but also the spinal cord. It is a progressive disease, implying that it gets worse over time. An insulating sheath referred to as myelin tends to normally become inflamed as well as damaged. This tends to disrupt or slow the impulses of the nerves. Inflammation that is caused by this disease tends to leave areas of scarring that is referred to as sclerosis.

multiple sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis as already stated is a progressive disease and therefore, stays for a lifetime. The three most common patterns that are seen in patients with multiple sclerosis are as following:

1.    Relapsing remitting MS: there are relapses i.e. episodes when the symptoms tend to get worse all of a sudden, which are later followed by periods of recovery, also called remissions. Between the relapses, the condition of the patients tends to be stable i.e. without deterioration. This kind of MS is the most common type as it accounts for a majority of cases at the onset of the disease. At least half of those people suffering from relapsing remitting MS tend to get into a secondary progressive phase over a period of time.

2.    Primary progressive MS: the symptoms of this type of MS get worse gradually and continuously. In this type of MS, there are no relapses or remissions.

3.    Secondary progressive MS: in this type of MS, a patient who already had a secondary progressive MS tends to experience a gradual deterioration in the functioning of the nerves. This may be experienced with or without the relapses. If the relapses occur, it is referred to as “progressive relapsing” MS.


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