There are lots of people who live every day with chronic medical conditions. One of the most common chronic medical conditions with which someone may be diagnosed is called multiple sclerosis, which is usually abbreviated to MS. A lot of people believe that multiple sclerosis is the same in all individuals who are diagnosed with this condition. In reality, this is a group of conditions that are distinct from one another. Before discussing the diagnosis and treatment of multiple sclerosis, it is important to take a look at the types of MS and how they are different from one another.
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Progressive Relapsing MS
One of the most common types of multiple sclerosis is called progressing and relapsing MS. This is a condition that progresses steadily from year to year. In general, the symptoms of this specific type of multiple sclerosis will wax and wane. This means that patients will have good days and bad days. From time to time, the symptoms will get worse. Then, they will gradually fade into the background. This type of multiple sclerosis is called progressive because it will get worse, generally, over time. Patients do not completely recover from this type of multiple sclerosis; however, there are treatments that can be helpful.
For example, one of the mainstay treatments for individuals who are diagnosed with this specific type of multiple sclerosis is called interferon. There are multiple types of interferon medications and some of them are more effective for some patients than others.
Relapsing and Remitting MS
This type of multiple sclerosis is similar to progressive – relapsing MS because the symptoms come and go over time. Unlike progressive multiple sclerosis, the condition will not get worse. Even though there are situations where symptoms may flare up, they fade into the background once again. This type of condition does not progress.
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Individuals for this specific type of multiple sclerosis usually have more information in their central nervous system. As a result, Imaging of the brains may show more scars. This type of multiple sclerosis is also far more common in women than in men. This type of multiple sclerosis is usually diagnosed earlier. It is also the most common type of multiple sclerosis. The vast majority of individuals who suffer from this type of condition are diagnosed sometime during their twenties or thirties.
Finally, there are a number of other symptoms that may develop with this specific type of MS. They include fatigue, incontinence, sweating, memory loss, visual changes, numbness, tingling, and stiffness. Fortunately, there are treatment options available for individuals who are diagnosed with this specific type of MS as well.
Secondary Progressive MS
Sometimes, individuals can switch from one type of multiple sclerosis to another. It is not unusual for people with relapsing and remitting multiple sclerosis to progress to this specific type of MS. Unlike relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, this type of condition does get worse. Individuals well progressing steadily from one stage to the next, with symptoms getting worse over time. Typically, individuals do not worsen quickly. Sometimes, MS flares take place. In other situations, they may not.
Individuals who are diagnosed with this specific type of multiple sclerosis usually were originally diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS about ten years ago. It is also not unusual for people to live with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis for 25 years before they switch to this type.
Sometimes, it can be difficult to tell when someone has switched from relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis to secondary progressive MS. Sometimes, individuals simply have trouble walking.
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This type of multiple sclerosis is more severe than the other types. In general, people who are diagnosed with this type of multiple sclerosis progress quickly through the stages. There is usually no remission. There are also no flares. There are far more lesions on the spinal cord and brain of people with Primary-Progressive MS and other types. Men are diagnosed just as often as women. Usually, people are diagnosed about a decade later than they are in cases involving relapsing-remitting MS. This means that people who are diagnosed with Primary-Progressive MS are usually in their 40s.
Often, people who are diagnosed with Primary-Progressive MS have difficulty walking. They may also need assistance with daily tasks.
Seek Treatment as Quickly as Possible
These are just a few of the most common types of multiple sclerosis. There are also specific types of multiple sclerosis that impact children. Even though there is no cure for multiple sclerosis, treatment options can be effective. Therefore, it is critical for everyone to see their doctor at least once per year for an annual exam. That way, individuals who develop multiple sclerosis can be diagnosed as quickly as possible. The faster they are diagnosed, the faster the treatment process can begin.