- usually affects the sensory nerves which perceive touch, pain, temperature
and body position. MS often affects the optic nerve, which carries visual
images to the brain. In this variation, MS is not long term and leaves
little or no disability.
- shows repeated episodes of MS, with exacerbations or severe symptoms,
followed by the remission of symptoms. Some people with this form of MS may
recover partially or completely.
secondary progression - in this variation,
the individual does not completely recover from each fresh attack. Every
cycle of relapse and remission leaves the person with an increasingly
- shows steady deterioration from the onset, with no remissions. Only a
small percentage of people with MS have this form of the disease.
Most people who have MS will have the disease in one of its
relapsing-remitting forms. For 20-40% of new mothers with MS in remission,
there will be a relapse within the first 3 months after giving birth.
- Dr. Burks:
- Primary progressive MS seems to be a different animal. It's primarily
a degenerative disease, where relapsing-remitting disease is primarily
an inflammatory disease, at least early on. The MRIs in
relapsing-remitting disease tend to be very active. The MRIs of the
brain, anyway, with primary progressive disease tend to be not very
active. It tends to be a spinal-cord problem.
"Most disability in MS is not caused by brain damage;
it's caused by spinal cord damage, and in primary progressive you see
spinal cord damage very early."
Most disability in MS is not caused by brain damage; it's caused by
spinal cord damage, and in primary progressive you see spinal cord
damage very early, and that's why it can be so devastating for patients.
I'm glad that now we're starting to look at some of these drugs for the
treatment of primary progressive disease because up until now we've been
using things like methotrexate and Imuran, which are anti-cancer drugs,
at a very low level with marginal results. We really need better
here to download the transcripts from:
- Highlights from "Beyond
Tomorrow: Multiple Sclerosis and Your Future"
The following are highlights from a two-hour Town Meeting on
multiple sclerosis that was originally broadcast on June 14, 2001.
Who gets MS?
More of our Links