Multiple Sclerosis Types

in Multiple-sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks the Myelin which is the covering that surrounds the spinal cord. The myelin provides insulation for the nerves coming from the spinal cord, and it helps the conduction of impulses along the nerves. In MS inflammation destroys the myelin causing the nerve impulses to slow down and degenerate. This can cause a person to have difficulties in walking, talking, and can affect their vision and many other important functions. There are 5 different multiple sclerosis types that patients can have, the most common forms are relapsing- remitting, primary-progressive, and Secondary-progressive.

Of the 5 different multiple sclerosis types, relapsing-remitting is the most common accounting for 65 - 80% of all MS cases. In relapsing-remitting, patients experience a series of attacks then the disease goes into remission until another attack occurs which is called the relapse. There can be days, weeks or years between relapses. Recovery during the remission phase can be partial or complete. This means that while the attack may subside, residual symptoms may be present that can be permanent due to the damage that is done to the Myelin.

Primary-progressive MS is steady symptoms from the onset that do not remit, meaning that their intensity increases over time, rather than going into remission. Between 10-20% of people with this disease are diagnosed with primary progressive. This diagnosis does not usually get made until a person has a history of unremitting symptoms and no acute attacks.

Secondary-progressive MS often follows the relapsing-remitting types of multiple sclerosis. Approximately 60 % of relapsing-remitting patients will progress to this stage of MS. Again like primary-progressive there is no real remission periods in this stage of the disease, only short breaks or plateaus from the progression of the symptoms. During this phase many people will experience a steady decline in abilities with sporadic attacks.

Of all the multiple sclerosis types, progressive relapsing and malignant multiple sclerosis are the most rare and intense. With progressive relapsing there is no remit phase, only continuous attacks and no relief from symptoms. Malignant multiple sclerosis is very rare and highly aggressive causing a swift decline into disability often within weeks or months of the onset.

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Gary P Owen has 1 articles online

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Multiple Sclerosis Types

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This article was published on 2010/04/20