How Is Multiple Sclerosis Classified?

Multiple sclerosis is actually characterized by the disruption of the normal functioning of the peripheral nerve connections of the spinal cord and brain. It is a complex disease which is idiopathic, meaning that its cause remains unknown. This further means that multiple sclerosis is not easily prevented nor cured.

What is considered as compensation is the finding that multiple sclerosis is generally not a lifethreatening disorder. There are existing treatment methods that are able to successfully control the disease’s underlying symptoms. It is through these treatment modalities that the development of multiple sclerosis can be slowed and those with complaint are given chances to live active and normal lives.

The disease process of multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is believed to occur mainly because of the destruction of the myelin. Myelin a substance made up of adipose that insulates the nerve cells. Apart from providing protection for the tissues and the nerve cells, the myelin also serves as a facilitator in transmitting nerve impulses all through out the body.

When there is demyelization, the nerve tissues harden and the whole nervous system becomes damaged. It is the impairment of the nervous system that leads to the wide variety of multiple sclerosis symptoms.

Multiple sclerosis can actually be classified according to two characteristic groups which are relapsing - remitting type plus chronic - progressive type. The latter classification is further divided into three, primary - progressive, secondary - progressive and progressive - relapsing. These classifications are made according to the frequency and the intensity of the generated symptoms, including the disease’s rate of progression.

The relapsing - remitting type

This is the most ordinary form of multiple sclerosis. It majorly affects persons who are young or middle-aged. This type’s major characteristics are soft and tend to occur only in flares. It is after the short duration of the symptomatic flare-ups that remission occurs, thus producing unperceivable symptoms for a couple of weeks up to months.

The remission phase usually occurs naturally but the use of immunosuppressive medications can hasten the duration and the occurrence of its periods. Usually, after the remission phase has completely passed, a short relapse time follows. The relapse is commonly characterized by the strengthening of the disease’s general symptoms.

The chronic - progressive type

Multiple sclerosis cases are slow in progressing and do not involve spontaneous remission phases. This type predominantly affects those who are forty-five years old and above. Twenty percent of those with multiple sclerosis have the chronic - progressive type.

The primary - progressive subtype

The primary - progressive multiple sclerosis comprises of a predictable pattern of development. The aforementioned subtype gradually evolves without having any periods of remission. This subtype is commonly comprised of approximately ten percent of those who are definitively given the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis.

The secondary - progressive subtype

The secondary - progressive subtype affects half of those who are diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, specifically the relapsing - remitting type. This subtype is usually involved with flare-ups that are also associated with some periods of remission.

The progressive - relapsing subtype

This last subtype of the chronic - progressive type of multiple sclerosis is actually a very rare form. Although this subtype is gradual in its progression, it is compensated with having only short periods of symptomatic flare-ups.

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