Relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) is the most common type of multiple sclerosis (MS). Although all types of MS affect patients differently, RRMS has its own hallmark progression. It is characterized by relapses or exacerbations — clearly defined episodes of new or increasing neurological symptoms — followed by periods of partial or total recovery, or remissions. RRMS symptoms can be further categorized as:
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society designated Norton Neuroscience Institute Hussung Family Multiple Sclerosis Center as a Center for Comprehensive MS Care. The designation recognizes our MS center’s commitment to providing exceptional multidisciplinary treatment using a full array of medical, nursing, mental health, rehabilitation and social services.
RRMS affects nerve fibers and myelin, the protective covering of nerve fibers. The myelin and fibers become inflamed, and the resulting immune response damages the nerves and tissue of the area. The amount and severity of this damage varies from person to person. The early symptoms of RRMS are very similar to those of other forms of MS.
Generally reported symptoms of RRMS include:
RRMS is different from other forms of MS because of the pattern of relapses and remissions. RRMS is marked by relapses that last at least 24 hours. During a relapse, symptoms get worse. A relapse will be followed by a remission. During a remission, symptoms partly or completely go away.
RRMS differs significantly from other forms of progressive MS in these ways:
All forms of MS are autoimmune diseases — that means the body’s natural defense system turns on itself, damaging nerves and tissues. Researchers suspect that MS is triggered by environmental factors in people who already have some risk for developing the disease.
A key part of reducing your risk for a relapse or lessening its severity is maintaining comprehensive annual checkups with your MS specialist.
Triggers for an MS relapse include:
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