Multiple sclerosis is a disease of the central nervous system. There are traditionally four forms of the disease that include relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS), secondary progressive MS (SPMS), primary progressive MS (PPMS), and progressive relapsing MS (PRMS). A 2014 update to the description of the subtypes of MS added clinically isolated syndrome (CIS) to the list and removed PRMS. An unofficial subtype of multiple sclerosis is benign MS.
What is benign MS?
Although there is no universally agreed upon definition of benign MS (BMS), the term is typically used to describe a disease course where patients experience little disease progression and minimal accumulation of disability decades after developing the disease. Benign MS is a retrospective diagnosis that can only be made 10 years or more after disease onset.
Your neurologist may look back on how MS has affected you and determine that your version of MS has been “benign” or fairly mild. Disability in MS is measured by the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) that is scored from 0 (no disability) to 10 (death). An EDSS 2.0 score represents mild disability in one functional system, such as decreased sensation in all four limbs, and EDSS 3.0 represents mild disability in several functional systems or moderate disability in one system while the patient is still able to walk unassisted.
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What is Benign MS and How Is It Treated?