Multiple Sclerosis varies highly from person to person. This is due to the fact that it occurs in different locations of the central nervous system. In most cases of MS the symptoms in the initial stages can occur suddenly without any recognisable cause. When symptomatic occurrence of MS or a change in them for worse happens is known as a relapse.
A person can then improve from those symptoms after a couple of days or weeks and may return back to the normal condition or worse than they were before the attack. This is called remission. As time progresses, a person may recover from the symptoms either completely or partially. However, sometimes the symptoms may still remain permanent even in remission leading to a loss of some function.
Rehabilitation, physical and mental training can however, help to restore the lost function to a certain extent.
Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (RRMS)
This is the most common kind of MS that is affecting about 80% of the people with MS. In the early stages of this MS, the symptoms are not always clear for a couple of years. However, attacks are not predictable while symptoms may occur at any times of the MS. Symptoms that have occurred before or new ones may strike abruptly and last for a few weeks or days and then disappear again. Progression of this type of MS is not clearly present during or between the relapses.
Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (SPMS)
This is the most advanced form of MS that may follow the RRMS stage. It affects about 40% of the people with MS. It occurs as a progression from the RRMS as it usually develops after periods of attacks and remissions. It is called progressive because it usually progresses with or without any regular attacks or relapses, minor remissions and plateaus.
Primary Progressive Multiple sclerosis (PPMS)
PPMS is not very common in society and affects about 10% of the people who live with MS. It is marked mainly by a steady progression from its beginning. relapses and remission are not common in this type of MS. Symptoms usually become worse progressively while disability heightens gradually. Occasional increases in the condition and temporary minor improvements occur from time to time as the condition progresses.
Benign Multiple Sclerosis (BMS)
This type of MS is mainly featured by the occurrence of as little of one first relapse that can be followed by another attack and subsequent recovery in the middle of these relapses. It can take as long as about 20 years before one gets another attack or a second relapse. As such its progression is very limited.