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For most people, MS starts with a diagnosis of relapsing remitting MS. Over time it can change, and some people can enter a different phase, called secondary progressive MS (SPMS). But what’s the difference?
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 have 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 about reviewing your management options.
If you think your MS is changing, recognising it early is essential to managing SPMS. The interactive assessment tool can help you track changes in your symptoms, which you can discuss with your specialist team. It’s a good idea to keep a diary of any changes you feel and refer to it when completing the tool. Identifying change and working with your specialist team will help you recognise and manage changes earlier.
If symptoms like these feel familiar, use the interactive assessment tool to help you reassess your MS. Sometimes it can be helpful to complete it with someone who knows you well, as they may offer a different perspective.
Once you’ve completed the self-assessment tool, take it with you to your next appointment and use it during your conversation with your neurologist and/or MS nurse to review how you manage your MS.
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