With only one FDA-approved drug available for PPMS, this type of multiple sclerosis remains difficult to treat, but adaptive devices and wellness programs can help you manage your symptoms.
For many people with multiple sclerosis (MS), treatment is focused on preventing and managing relapses — acute symptoms that are often absent for long stretches of time. Ultimately the disease can result in disability in walking, thinking, and working.
But in people with primary-progressive MS (PPMS) — a small subset of the overall MS population — there is no initial relapse that heralds the onset of the disease, just a gradual appearance of symptoms. This can make PPMS more difficult to identify than so-called relapsing-remitting MS. To make matters more difficult, out of the 23 disease-modifying treatments currently available for MS in the United States, only one is approved for PPMS.
Despite the challenges that PPMS presents, great strides have been made in its treatment and management. Here are 10 things you should know about PPMS.
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Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a potentially disabling disease of the brain and spinal cord (central nervous system).
In MS, the immune system attacks the protective sheath (myelin) that covers nerve fibers and causes communication problems between your brain and the rest of your body. Eventually, the disease can cause permanent damage or deterioration of the nerves.
Signs and symptoms of MS vary widely and depend on the amount of nerve damage and which nerves are affected. Some people with severe MS may lose the ability to walk independently or at all, while others may experience long periods of remission without any new symptoms.
There’s no cure for multiple sclerosis. However, treatments can help speed recovery from attacks, modify the course of the disease and manage symptoms.