Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Basics of Primary Progressive MS

Not all forms of MS are the same. The majority of patients who develop MS begin with a relapsing form of the disease that features acute neurological attacks and a waxing and waning of symptoms.

Approximately 10 to 15 percent of patients who develop MS have a progressive form of the disease from the beginning that features steady worsening of neurological function with occasional plateaus or minor improvements. A number of patients with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) go on to develop the secondary progressive MS (SPMS) form of the disease.

Primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS) can be more challenging to diagnose and is definitely harder to treat than relapsing MS. Since PPMS doesn’t feature distinct clinical attacks like RRMS, the criteria for diagnosis is different. According to the National MS Society, the criteria for diagnosis of PPMS are:
  1. One year of disease progression (worsening of neurological function without remission), AND
  2. Two of the following:
  • A type of lesion in the brain that is recognized by experts as being typical of MS
  • Two or more lesions of a similar type in the spinal cord
  • Evidence in the spinal fluid of oligoclonal band or an elevated IgG index, both of which are indicative of immune system activity in the central nervous system   Fulfilling these diagnostic criteria may take years longer for PPMS than the equivalent does for RRMS.

Treatment for PPMS is limited.

Read this post in its entirety:
What is Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis?

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