Types of MS

Learn about types of MS, and discover how they may affect the body

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People experience the symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS) differently. And the course that these symptoms may take has been used to describe a few different types of MS. Below, you'll learn about certain types of MS that impact the body in different ways. 

Types of MS

Clinically isolated syndrome (CIS)

CIS is a first episode of symptoms caused by inflammation or damage to the nerves. This lasts at least 24 hours and may develop into MS.

Relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS)

In RRMS, also sometimes just called relapsing MS, new or more symptoms can appear. This is known as an "attack" or a "relapse," and is followed by a period of recovery or "remission." A remission is when symptoms partially disappear or go away completely. About 85% of people are initially diagnosed with this type of MS.

Peaks in graph represent relapses.

Secondary-progressive MS (SPMS)

RRMS can transition to SPMS, a condition in which the disease tends to progress more steadily. There are two stages of SPMS—active and non-active. This means that people can develop SPMS with or without relapses. Some people with RRMS may transition to SPMS at some point in the course of their disease.

Peaks in graph represent relapses.

Primary-progressive MS (PPMS)

With PPMS, disability tends to worsen over time without an early relapse or remission (although there may be an occasional relapse later on). About 15% of people with MS are diagnosed with this type of MS.

Peak in graph represents a relapse.

Be sure to ask your healthcare provider about what type and stage of MS you may have.

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