Facts are facts and the fact is that 80% of those diagnosed with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) will eventually become secondary-progressive MS patients. MS progression is unpredictable for the individual, however, as a group of MS patients there is a pattern. Eighty-five percent of multiple sclerosis patients are diagnosed with RRMS meaning there are periods of remission and times when exacerbations return. RRMS progresses into secondary-progressive multiple sclerosis or SPMS with no guess on how quickly this will occur – months, years, decades. SPMS is slow to be recognized as relapses simply do not clear up. Typically this change happens 15-20 years after diagnosis though who knows if the new medications on the market will affect that number.
Primary-progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS) occurs in 15% of the MS population and progresses to progressive-relapsing MS (PRMS). Pseudoexacerbation occurs when MS symptoms return due to other factors such as “fever, infection, or hot weather” (WebMD).
For more information on the types and progression of multiple sclerosis check-out: http://www.webmd.com/multiple-sclerosis/guide/how-disease-progresses?page=2. Image from: http://www.atlasofms.org/documentation/Large/Types-of-MS-at-diagnosis-MSIFAtlas2013.jpg.