Not All MS Is the Same

Certain conditions of multiple sclerosis progresses more severely than others

(RxWiki News) Multiple sclerosis (MS) takes its toll on patients in different ways. Some MS patients become disabled more severely and quicker than others. For this reason, doctors should think about the different kinds of MS when treating patients, according to new research.

In a recent study, researchers found that patients with progressive relapsing MS became more disabled than patients with primary progressive MS. Over time, some patients with primary progressive MS will get progressive relapsing MS, which also progresses quicker than primary progressive MS.

"Doctors should treat individual types of MS with different types of treatment."

According to Fred Lublin, M.D., from the Mount Sinai Medical Center, these findings suggest that doctors should look at progressive relapsing MS patients differently than primary progressive MS patients, as their health will be affected differently over time.

Patients with primary progressive MS steadily become more disabled. In contrast, patients with progressive relapsing MS are faced with attacks of the disease followed by periods of time without symptoms.

In Depth

In order to study the differences between primary progressive MS and progressive relapsing MS, Dr. Lublin and his colleague Michelle Fabian, M.D., from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, looked at 943 patients with primary progressive MS. The researchers found:

  • 42 of the primary progressive MS patients had relapses over the 53-month course of the study, which means they developed progressive relapsing MS
  • Patients with primary progressive MS had a 0.59 point change in the Expanded Disability Status Scale - a way to measure disability in MS patients
  • Patients with progressive relapsing MS had a 0.92 point change in the Expanded Disability Status Scale
  • MS progresses more quickly in patients with progressive relapsing MS than in patients with primary progressive MS
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Review Date: 
April 14, 2011