Advertisement

How to define multiple sclerosis

March 31, 2003

The four definitions of multiple sclerosis are:

Relapsing-remitting: Clearly defined, acute attacks with full or partial recovery and no disease progression between attacks. It is the most common form of MS at the time of diagnosis, affecting roughly 80 percent at onset.

Primary-progressive: Nearly continuous worsening of the disease from its onset with no distinct relapses or remissions. Rates of progression vary over time, and there are occasional plateaus and temporary minor improvements. Relatively rare, it affects about 10 percent at onset.

Secondary-progressive: Initially relapsing-remitting and then becomes progressive at a variable rate, possibly with an occasional relapse and minor remission. Within 10 years of the first diagnosis, 50 percent of patients with relapsing-remitting MS develop secondary-progressive.

Advertisement

Progressive-relapsing: Disease progression from the beginning, but with clear, acute relapses, with or without full recovery from relapses. Like primary-progressive, it is rare, affecting approximately 10 percent at onset.

- Source: National Multiple Sclerosis Society, www.nmss.org on the Web

The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|