Most people diagnosed with MS will experience a series of flare-ups in their condition (relapses) followed by remission. This is understood as relapsing remitting MS.
This stage may last between 10 and 20 years, currently it is difficult to offer a more specific prognosis to any individual with MS.
After some years MS may be charcterised by fewer or no relapses, with slow development of further problems. At this stage, it is referred to as secondary progressive MS.
Over the last two decades a number of drugs have been introduced to help reduce the number of relapes occuring in early MS to limit the nerve damage caused by relapses. New drugs for this phase of MS are constantly being tested.
Around 10 – 15% percent will have primary progressive MS. PPMS can be more difficult to diagnose. Progression may be slow or in vary rare cases more rapid. News drugs are being tested to treat this form of progressive MS in its early stages.