The following are types of MS:
Relapsing-Remitting MS – This stage of MS is characterized by periods of new or worsening symptoms followed by periods during which symptoms improve or disappear. Most common form of MS at time of initial diagnosis. Frequency: Approximately 85% at onset.
Primary-Progressive – This stage of MS is characterized by a continuous worsening of the disease from the onset, with no distinct relapses or remissions. There are, however, variations in rate of progression over time, occasional plateaus and temporary minor improvements. Frequency: Relatively rare. Approximately 10% at onset.
Secondary-Progressive – People with this type of MS experience an initial period of relapsing-remitting disease (defined above) followed by a steady worsening of the course of the disease with or without occasional flare-ups, minor remissions (recoveries) or plateaus. Frequency: If left untreated, 50% of people with relapsing-remitting MS develop this form of the disease within 10 years of initial diagnosis.
Progressive-Relapsing – The symptoms of progressive-relapsing include a steady worsening of the disease from the onset. People with progressive-relapsing experience acute flare-ups (relapses), with or without recovery. In contrast to relapsing-remitting MS, the periods between relapses are characterized by continuing disease progression. Frequency: Relatively rare. Approximately 5% at onset.
Blackstone, Margaret. The First Year – Multiple Sclerosis: An Essential Guide for the Newly Diagnosed. New York: Marlowe & Company, 2003.
Nichols, Judith Lynn. Women Living with Multiple Sclerosis. California: Hunter House, Inc. Publishers, 1999.
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society: Lone Star. Texas.