Multiple Sclerosis: Meaning, Stages and Subtypes Explained


Despite the ongoing efforts taken by medical science to bring to light the factors resulting in multiple sclerosis, the actual reasons responsible for this disorder in healthy people is still unknown. Though numerous factors are held responsible for triggering the breakout of multiple sclerosis (bacterial or viral infections) or for facilitating its progress (environmental factors, genetic dysfunctions), medical science has not yet reached to a conclusion regarding the actual cause of this disorder.

What is Multiple Sclerosis?
Multiple sclerosis is defined as a kind of autoimmune disorder which involves abnormal activities of the human immune system. This means that the immune system ends up eradicating the healthy cells of the body rather than fighting against the infectious agents. The body cells targeted initially by the immune system in case of multiple sclerosis are the nerve cells. The nerve cells are not destroyed directly by the autoimmune response of your body, but it is the dysfunctional immune system which ends up producing antibodies, causing the destruction of the myelin – a protein wrapping the nerve cells and facilitating communication between the organs forming the CNS, i.e., spinal cord and brain.

Stages of Multiple Sclerosis
Here are the stages of multiple sclerosis discussed in details:
# At the initial stage, sclerosis results in impairment just at the base of CNS or central nervous system.
# As the stage advances, it ends up involving other parts of your body having networks of nerves.

If not diagnosed and treated at the earliest, multiple sclerosis is likely to give birth to a wide array of disabilities and even death.

Types of Multiple Sclerosis
Depending upon the progression pattern along with the frequency and intensity of the symptoms, multiple sclerosis is categorized into 7 subtypes.

  1. The first type is RR MS or Relapsing-Remitting multiple sclerosis. It is the most common of all autoimmune disorders. As per reports, about 80% of multiple sclerosis cases are of this type. This type is characterized by symptomatic remission along with phases of relapses.
  2. The second type is PP MS or Primary-Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. And this forms the remaining 20% of the multiple sclerosis cases reported. This stage is characterized by gradual progression and short remissive phases.
  3. The third subtype is quite similar to the second subtype and is known as secondary progressive multiple sclerosis or PP MS. The patients who encounter the second type of multiple sclerosis have chances of developing PP MS.
  4. The fourth type is known as Progressive Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis or PP MS. At this stage, you will encounter the gradual progression along with symptomatic aggravation.
  5. The fifth subtype keeps on alternating between Primary-Secondary Progressive and the Progressive Relapsing aspects of this disease.
  6. The sixth subtype is known as Benign Multiple Sclerosis. It begins with symptomatic flare and is followed by no or slow progression.
  7. The last and the seventh type of multiple sclerosis is quite rare and is known as Malignant Multiple Sclerosis or MMS. It involves intense and rapid progressive symptoms and can even lead to death.

So, now that you are familiar with the stages and types of multiple sclerosis, make sure to visit a doctor in case you suspect anything.

Daniel Mattei is a Professional writer. He has written many articles on Health. In this article he has mentioned about sclerosis.


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