MS is different for everyone. But for most people it starts with a diagnosis of relapsing remitting MS. Over time MS can change. Some patients can enter a different phase of MS, called secondary progressive MS (SPMS).
Relapsing remitting MS (RRMS) is the most common form of MS. Around 85% of people are diagnosed with RRMS, usually in their 20s to 40s. If you have RRMS, there are times when you experience a sudden onset of symptoms (relapses), followed by periods of partial or complete recovery (remission).
Secondary progressive MS (SPMS) is a different phase of MS. After you’ve lived with RRMS for a number of years you may notice that the frequency of relapses decreases or even stops altogether, but the level of disability continues to increase over time. This may start to interfere with your day-to-day activities.
Many people with RRMS may go on to develop SPMS. The changes associated with this progression happen gradually. Left unchecked, it can lead to more noticeable symptoms and increased disability. Which is why it’s so important to reassess your MS and talk to your specialist team.
Early detection is essential to managing SPMS. Keep a diary of any changes you feel and refer to this when completing the interactive assessment tool. Use your regular reviews to discuss these changes with your specialist team. This helps to determine whether changes are associated with SPMS. Identifying change and working with your specialist team will help you recognise and manage changes earlier.
Think back to how you felt 6 months ago.
Compare this to how you feel today.
To help you reassess your MS, use the interactive assessment tool below. Sometimes it can be helpful to complete it with someone who knows you well, as they may offer a different perspective.