By learning what to expect and understanding the typical progression of the disease, you can gain a sense of control and make more informed decisions.

“Your body’s immune system targets your central nervous system. The myelin sheath around nerve fibers is damaged by the attack on your CNS. The damage can affect the nerve impulses being sent down your spine.”

People with the disease usually follow one of the four courses.

male and female with a wheelchair
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Clinically isolated syndrome (CIS)

This is the first episode of symptoms caused by inflammation and damage to the myelin covering on nerves in the brain. The only area of damage to the myelin sheath that is responsible for symptoms in a case of Multiplesclerosis is an isolated incident.

If an episode of an magnetic resonance is found in the past, a diagnosis of multiplesclerosing cholangitis can be given.

Relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS)

The relapsing-remitting type of MS generally follows a predictable pattern, with periods in which symptoms worsen and then improve. Eventually, it may progress to secondary-progressive MS.

According to the National MS Society (NMSS), around 85% of people with MS receive an initial diagnosis of RRMS.

People with RRMS have periods of remission after a few relapses. The course of the disease is likely to change over time.

Secondary-progressive MS (SPMS)

RRMS can progress into a more aggressive form of the disease. Some of those with the relapsing-remitting form of the condition will go on to develop SPMS. This generally happens within 10 to 25 years of the first diagnosis.

“People may still experience relapses. The disease doesn’t disappear between cycles, but it does disappear after partial recoveries or periods of remission. It worsens.”

Primary-progressive MS (PPMS)

Approximately 10% to 15% of people receive a diagnosis of a relatively uncommon form of the disease, called PPMS.

Slow and steady disease progression is what this form of MS is characterized by. Some people with PPMS experience occasional plateaus in their symptoms and some minor improvements in function that are temporary. There are different progression rates over time.

The first stage is when you are told you have a disease.

Genetics and environment are thought to play a role in who gets the disease.

Maybe you have been told by your doctor that you might have Multiplesclerosis.

Common early symptoms of the disease.

A doctor can determine if you are at high risk of developing the condition by looking at your medical history and physical exam.

There is no definitive test to confirm the presence of the disease, and many of the symptoms also occur with other conditions, making it difficult to diagnose.

Over time, the disease becomes more severe. There is no specific time frame for the condition to follow.

“Everyone with the disease follows their own timelines. Some people with the disease don’t notice any changes. Symptoms may become severe for others.”

If you have any symptoms, talk to your doctor about a treatment plan that will work for you.

The next step on the continuum is receiving a diagnosis of MS.

If there is clear evidence that you have had separate episodes of disease activity in your central nervous system, you will be given a diagnosis of Multiplesclerosis.

It can take a while to give this diagnosis because other conditions must be ruled out. These include diseases of the central nervous system.

You will likely discuss treatment options with a doctor and learn new ways to manage your condition in the new diagnosis stage.

In addition to adults, children and adolescents can receive a diagnosis of MS. The NMSS reports that between 3% and 5% of all people with MS noticed symptoms that started before they were 16 years old.

Similar symptoms to those of the adult form of the disease can be found in the child form of the disease. The disease course may progress more slowly for younger people than it does for adults.

A doctor and medical team can help you find the best combination of treatments to manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life.

Treatment options may vary depending on your stage of MS.

Some prescription treatments for MS can include:

  • natalizumab is a monoclonal antibodies.
  • There are two types of interferons, such as interferon alpha-1a and interferon alpha-1b.
  • Novantrone is a drug called mitoxantrone.
  • Fingolimod is a drug.
  • dimethyl fumarate (Tecfidera)
  • glatiramer (Copaxone)
  • corticosteroids for MS attacks
  • There are exchanges for attacks on the Multiplesclerosis.
  • teriflunomide (Aubagio)
  • The muscle relaxants are used.

Relief can be provided by practices that include:

Changes in lifestyle can be included.

  • Including stretching.
  • A healthy diet is eating a healthy diet.
  • The stress is lowered.

Treatments over the counter can include:

  • It is a pain. relievers, such as aspirin or ibuprofen (Advil)
  • For occasional use of stool softeners and laxatives.

When you are changing your treatment plan, you should consult with a doctor. Natural remedies can interfere with treatments.

Pediatric MS

Many medications used to treat adult MS have been studied in children and are commonly prescribed for pediatric MS.

The FDA approved oral fingolimod for use in children 10 years and older.

For some people with MS, their condition will never get to the advanced stage. According to the NMSS, about two in three people with MS will retain the ability to walk throughout their lives.

Quality of life can be impacted if the disease progresses to advanced stages. It may become very difficult to walk, write, or speak.

Although only very rarely fatal, MS can shorten your life by up to 7 years. A caregiver may become needed to help with everyday tasks.


There are ways to slow the progression of the disease. What are they?



There are many medical treatments that can slow the progression of MS. You should discuss the treatments with your doctor and find one that’s right for you. In addition, leading a healthy lifestyle with proper Exercise., diet, and sleep will go a long way toward managing your MS.

Nancy Hammond, MDAnswers represent the opinions of our medical experts. All content is strictly informational and should not be considered medical advice.

You can take control of your life and get the right treatments if you know what to look for in each stage of the disease.

Researchers are making progress in their understanding of the disease. The underlying course of Multiplesclerosis is being impacted by improved therapeutic advances, new technologies and FDA-approved medications.

It is possible to make managing the disease easier by using your knowledge and working with a doctor.