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Types of Multiple Sclerosis

Medically reviewed by Dr. Loeb
Medically reviewed by Dr. Loeb

Multiple sclerosis, sometimes known as MS, is a neurological disorder. The immune system targets the protective sheath that surrounds nerve fibers, destroying them and interfering with communication between the brain and other body components.

MS is classified into different types. Each kind has distinct symptoms and necessitates a unique treatment strategy. This article will examine each kind of multiple sclerosis and the therapies that are available.

4 Types of Multiple Sclerosis

Types of Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is a neurological disease that affects the brain and spinal cord. There are four different types, each with its unique symptoms. They are:

  • Relapsing-Remitting MS (RRMS).
  • Primary-Progressive MS (PPMS).
  • Secondary-Progressive MS (SPMS).
  • Clinically Isolated Syndrome (CIS).

But there are less famous and active forms of that syndrome. They are:

  • Radiologically isolated syndrome (RIS).
  • Balo disease.
  • Burned-out MS.
  • Inactive or benign MS.
  • Progressive-relapsing MS.

Knowing which type of MS you have is essential for getting the proper treatment. 

Relapsing-Remitting MS (RRMS)

This is the most prevalent kind of MS, accounting for around 85 percent of all cases. RRMS is distinguished by symptom flare-ups (relapses) followed by periods of remission in which symptoms diminish or cease completely.

Primary-Progressive MS (PPMS)

Primary-progressive MS (PPMS) is the rarest form of the disease, accounting for only about 10 percent of all cases. PPMS is characterized by a gradual worsening of symptoms from the start, with no periods of remission.

There is currently no known cause of PPMS and no cure. Treatment focuses on managing symptoms and slowing the progression of the disease. The prognosis for that multiple sclerosis is generally worse than other types of MS, with most people experiencing a gradual decline in their physical and cognitive abilities over time.

PPMS has no established etiology, although experts believe it is caused by a mix of genetic and environmental factors. There is no cure for PPMS, however therapies can help control symptoms and delay the disease’s course.

PPMS symptoms might vary from person to person however they may include:

  • Symptoms appear gradually.
  • Symptoms intensify over time, with no intervals of remission.
  • Fatigue.
  • Muscle fatigue.
  • Walking is difficult.
  • Spasticity (muscle stiffness).
  • Problems with the bowel and bladder.
  • Dysfunction in sexual relationships.
  • Pain.
  • Depression.

Secondary-Progressive MS (SPMS)

Secondary-progressive MS (SPMS) is the most common type of multiple sclerosis. It is characterized by gradually worsening symptoms, with or without periods of remission and relapse.

The cause of SPMS is unknown, but it is thought to be due to accumulated nerve damage over time. Treatment for SPMS is similar to that for RRMS, but the focus is on managing symptoms and preventing further disease progression.

SPMS is a progressive form of MS, which means that it gets worse over time. The rate of progression varies from person to person, but most people with SPMS will eventually require mobility aids or be unable to walk. There is no cure for SPMS, but treatments can help to manage symptoms and slow the progression of the disease.

Clinically Isolated Syndrome (CIS)

The initial episode of neurological symptoms lasting at least 24 hours is referred to as clinically isolated syndrome (CIS). Damage to the myelin sheaths that wrap nerve cells causes it. An MRI scan can reveal this lesion.

CIS can occur at any age but is most common in young adults. The most common symptom is optic neuritis, which can cause vision loss due to optic nerve inflammation. Other symptoms may include weakness, numbness, and tingling in the limbs.

CIS does not always progress to multiple sclerosis (MS), but there is a greater risk if certain factors are present, such as a positive MRI scan or a family history of MS. The prognosis for CIS is generally good, but it is essential to see a doctor if any new neurological symptoms occur.

Other Types of MS

Secondary types of multiple sclerosis

There are five varieties of multiple sclerosis, each with its own set of symptoms and prognosis.

  • Progressive-relapsing MS.

Progressive-relapsing MS is a less common form of the disease characterized by a gradual worsening of symptoms (progression) from the start, with periods of symptom flare-ups (relapses) along the way.

  • Inactive or benign MS.

Benign multiple sclerosis is a kind of relapsing-remitting MS. This is a kind of illness in which new or worsening symptoms are minor or do not appear for an extended time. That explains why doctors take so long to diagnose it.

However, around 15 years after your initial MS diagnosis, your doctor will be able to determine if the illness is benign or not. They use an MRI and the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) to determine your level of physical impairment. The exam lasts between 15 and 30 minutes.

  • Burned-out MS.

Burned-out MS is a term used to describe a form of the disease that is characterized by a significant decrease in symptom activity after years of living with relapsing-remitting MS. While there is no cure for MS, burned-out MS is considered to be a more benign form of the disease and generally has a better prognosis than other types of MS.

  • Balo disease.

Balo disease is an uncommon type of multiple sclerosis characterized by a quick onset of symptoms and involvement of several nervous system regions. Balo disease is regarded as a particularly aggressive type of MS, with patients frequently facing a bleak prognosis.

  • Radiologically isolated syndrome (RIS).

Radiologically isolated syndrome (RIS) is when people have lesions on their brain or spinal cord that are typical of MS but do not yet have any neurological symptoms. RIS is generally considered a precursor to MS, and people with RIS have an increased risk of developing the disease.

The prognosis for each type of MS is different, and it is essential to speak with a doctor about what to expect. People with relapsing-remitting MS generally have the best prognosis, while those with primary-progressive MS have the worst. However, it is essential to remember that each person is unique and that prognosis can vary from person to person.

While there is no cure for MS, treatments available can help manage symptoms and slow the progression of the disease. Speaking with a doctor about the best treatment options for you is essential.

Diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis

diagnosis of multiple sclerosis

MS is a chronic, inflammatory demyelinating disease of the central nervous system (CNS). There is no one test that can offer a conclusive diagnosis of MS. A physical exam will be performed by your healthcare professional to determine what is causing your symptoms. Blood tests and imaging tests, such as an MRI, may also be performed. An MRI scan searches for lesions (damaged regions) in the brain or spinal cord that indicate multiple sclerosis.

Bottom Line 

It’s essential to take care of your health for many reasons. Doing so can help prevent or manage health conditions and improve your quality of life.

Health care providers often group different types of multiple sclerosis (MS) based on how the disease first presents and the predominant type of lesions (areas of damage) in the central nervous system. So, remember that self-care can harm your health. It’s better to contact a specialist for the best treatment.

With good health, you have no problem. To maintain it at the required level, you should approach this comprehensively. The Lone Star Neurology will help you to deal with your diseases correctly and effectively. 

They have experienced neurologists, who are not only professionals but also have compassion and empathy. Their nurses are not only friendly and helpful but also highly qualified. Their qualified technicians and office staff work to improve our patients. You can treat:

And to get a professional touch on your health, you should use the contact button on the website. The specialists will provide high-quality help solutions. 


  • How many types of multiple sclerosis are there?

There are four main types:

– Relapsing-Remitting MS (RRMS);

– Primary-Progressive MS (PPMS);

– Secondary-Progressive MS (SPMS);

– Clinically Isolated Syndrome (CIS).

  • What is the most severe type of MS?

“Fulminate MS” is a rapidly progressive disease course with severe relapses within five years after diagnosis; also known as “malignant MS” or “Marburg MS,” this form of very active MS may need to be treated more aggressively than other forms.

  • Which type of MS is the most common type?

Relapsing Remitting MS is the most common form of MS. About 85% of people with MS are diagnosed with RRMS. Typical symptoms include: 

– Visual and oculomotor disturbances.

– Paresthesias.

– Weakness.

– Spasticity.

– Urinary disorders.

– Mild cognitive symptoms.

  • How long can you live with MS?

One study has found that the average life expectancy for people with MS is 76 years of age. In 2019, the U.S. life-expectancy averaged 78.8 years, and in 2020 it declined to 77.3 years, primarily due to the COVID pandemic. Many people with MS may live for 25 to 35 years or longer after their diagnosis.

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Edward Medina
Edward Medina
15:34 30 Jun 22
Just such an amazing staff that makes you feel like part of their family. I’ve been going there for over 5 years now... and each visit I get the very best care and treatments that I have ever received in the 20+ years that I’ve been dealing with severe debilitating migraines. Since i started seeing them the number of my migraines has dropped from 15-20 a month to 2-3 every 3 month. I highly recommend them …they will change your life!read more
Daneisha Johnson
Daneisha Johnson
22:20 19 May 22
Dr. Askari was very kind and explained everything so I could understand. The other staff were nice as well. I would... have gave 5 stars but I was a little taken aback when I checked in and had to pay 600.00 upfront. I think that should have been discussed in a appointment confirmation call or email just so I could have been more
Jean Cooper
Jean Cooper
16:54 29 Apr 22
I love the office staff they are friendly and very helpful. Dr. JODIE is very caring and understanding to your needs... and wants to help you. I will go back. would recommend Dr. Dr. Jodie to other Patients in a heart beat. The team works well more
Linda M
Linda M
19:40 02 Apr 22
I was obviously stressed, needing to see a neurologist. The staff was so patient and Dr. Ansari was so kind. At one... point he told me to relax, we have time, when I was relaying my history of my condition. That helped ease my stress. I have seen 3 other neurologists and he was the only one who performed any assessment tests on my cognitive and physical skills. At one point I couldn't complete two assessments and got upset and cried. I was told, it's OK. That's why you're here. I was truly impressed, and super pleased with the whole experience!read more
Leslie Durham
Leslie Durham
15:05 01 Apr 22
I've been coming here for about 5 years. The staff are ALWAYS friendly and knowledgeable. The Doctors are the absolute... best!! Jodie Moore is always in such a great mood which is a plus when you are already stressed. Highly recommendedread more
Monica Del Bosque
Monica Del Bosque
14:13 25 Mar 22
Since my first post my thoughts have changed here. It's unfortunate. My doctor and PA were great, but the office staff... is horrible. They never call you back when they say they will, they misinform you, they cause you too much stress wondering what's going on, they don't keep you posted. They never answer the phone. At this point I've left four messages in the last week, and I have sent three messages. Twice from their portal and one direct email. No response. My appointment is on Monday morning at 8:30am, no confirmation on my insurance and what's going on. What the heck is going on, this is ridiculous!I've given up... the stress her office staff has put me through is just not worth it. You can do so much better, please clean house, either change out your office staff, or find a way for them to be more efficient please. You have to do something. This is not how you want to run your practice. It leaves a very bad impression on your more
Ron Buckholz
Ron Buckholz
23:32 23 Mar 22
I was actually pleasantly surprised with this visit! It took me a long time to get the appointment scheduled because no... one answers your phones EVER! After a month, I finally got in, and your staff was warm, friendly, and I was totally impressed! I feel like you will take care of my needs!read more
Steve Nabavi
Steve Nabavi
16:28 16 Mar 22
It was a nice visit. Happy staff doing all they can do to comfort the patients in a very calming environment. You ask... me they are earned a big gold star on the fridge. My only complaint they didn't give me any more
Katie Lewis
Katie Lewis
16:10 10 Feb 22
Had very positive appointments with Jodie and Dr. Sheth for my migraine care. Jodie was so fast with the injections and... has so much valuable info. I started to feel light headed during checkout and the staff was SO helpful—giving me a chair, water, and taking me into a private room until I felt better. Highly recommend this practice for migraine patients, they know what they’re doing!!read more
Joshua Martinez
Joshua Martinez
16:02 10 Dec 21
I was scheduled to be checked and just want to say that the staff was fantastic. They were kind and helpful. I was... asked many questions related to what was going on and not once did I feel as though I was being brushed off. The front desk staff was especially great in assisting me. I'm scheduled to go back for a mri and am glad that I'll be going more
Isabel Ivy
Isabel Ivy
21:42 03 Nov 21
I had such a good experience with Lone Star Neurology, Brent my MRI Tech was so awesome and made sure I was very... comfortable during the appointment. He gave me ear plugs, a pillow, leg support and blanket, easiest MRI ever lol 🤣 My 72 hour EEG nurse Amanda was also so awesome. She made sure I was take care of over the 3 days and took her time with the electrodes to make sure it was comfortable for me! Paige was also a huge help in answering all my questions when it came to my test results, and letting me know her honest opinions about how I should go forth with my more
Leslie Luce
Leslie Luce
17:37 20 Oct 21
The professionalism and want to help attitude of this office was present from the moment I contacted them. The follow... up and follow through as well as their willingness to find a way to schedule my dad was above and beyond. We visited two offices in the same day with the same experience. I am appreciative of this—we spend a lot of time with doctors and this was top notch start to more
robert Parker
robert Parker
16:38 16 Apr 21
I love going to this office. The staff is friendly and helpful. The doctor is great. I am getting the best... neurological tests and treatment I have ever had. The only reason I did not give them a 5 star rating is because it is impossible to reach a live person at the office to reschedule appointments. Every time I have tried to get through to the office it says all people are busy and I am sent to a voicemail. If they could get their phone answering fixed, I would give them a strong 5 more
MaryAnn Hornbaker
MaryAnn Hornbaker
00:26 25 Feb 21
Dr. Harney is an excellent Dr. I found him friendly , personable and thorough. I evidently am an unusual case. ... Therefore he spent a Hugh amount of time educating me. He even gave me literature to further explain my condition and how to follow up. This is something you rarely get from your doctors. So I am more than please with my doctor and his more
Roger Arguello
Roger Arguello
03:05 29 Jan 21
Always courteous, professional. The staff is very friendly and always work with you to find the best appointment time.... The care team has been great. Always taking the time to listen to your concerns and to find the best more
Margaret Rowland
Margaret Rowland
01:12 27 Jan 21
I have been a patient at Lone Star Neurology for several years. Now both my adult daughters also are patients there. I... love Jodie. She is always so prompt whether it is a teleamed call are a visit in the office. She takes the time to explain everything to me and answers all my questions. I am so blessed to have Jodie as my more
Susan Miller
Susan Miller
03:01 13 Jan 21
My husband had an accident 5 years ago and Lone Star Neurology has been such a blessing to us with my husbands care.... Jodie Moore is his provider and she is amazing! Jodie is very knowledgeable, caring, and thorough. She takes her time with you, making sure your needs are met and she is happy to answer any questions you may have. Lone Star Neurology’s patients are very lucky to have Jodie providing their care. Thank you Lone Star Neurology and especially Jodie for everything you have done for us. Jodie, you are the best!read more
Windalyn C
Windalyn C
01:32 09 Jan 21
Jodie is wonderful. She is very caring and knowledgeable. I have been to over a dozen neurologists, and none were able... to help me as much as they have here. Thanks!read more
Katie Kordel
Katie Kordel
00:40 09 Jan 21
Jodi Moore, nurse practitioner, is amazing. I have suffered from frequent, debilitating headaches for almost 20 years.... She has provided the best proactive and responsive care I have ever received. My quality of life has been greatly improved by her caring approach and tenacity in finding more
Ellie Natsis
Ellie Natsis
15:41 07 Jan 21
I have had the best experience at this neurologist's office! For over a year I have been receiving iv treatments here... each month and my nurse, Bobbie is beyond wonderful!! She's so attentive, knowledgeable, caring, and detail oriented. She makes an otherwise uncomfortable experience much more pleasant and definitely puts me at ease! She also helps me with my insurance,ordering this specialty medication and dealing with the ordering process which is no easy feat.Needless to say, she goes above a beyond in every way and I'm so grateful to this office and to Bobbie for all they do for me!read more
Matt Morris
Matt Morris
15:39 07 Jan 21
Let me start by saying that I have been coming here for years. Due to my autoimmune disease, I am in this office... once every three weeks for multiple hours at a time. The office is very clean and the staff very friendly. My only complaint would be there communication via phone. They aren't the best at responding if you leave a voicemail and expect a call back. I understand that this is prob just due to the sheer number of alls they receive daily. What I can say I like the best about the office are the people. Bobby who handles my infusions is great. I never have any issues with her setting up my infusions. She is very quick to reply to messages sent via text and if she were to leave then my whole opinion of the office may change. I also enjoy people like Matt, Lauren, and Jodi. I appreciate all that they do for me and without this team I'm not sure I would be as happy as I am to visit the office as frequently as I have to. Please ensure that these folks are recognized as they are what makes my visit to this office so tolerable :).read more
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