How do they know the difference between rrms and ppms

Hi everyone

I hope your all keeping as well as can be.

I was just talking to my friend last week he was diagnosed with primary progressive MS.

He went through all the tests I went through but when he seen his neuro last week he told him he had primary progressive MS and there where no threatment available as yet for it letdown

We where both wondering what does the neuro see on your results that can tell him what form of MS you have he's very down with being told he has ppms he said if they'd even let him try a DMD he would or he would try or trail anything.

Is there different froms of PPMS I know people how have had it for well over 10 years and a lot longer and still mobile where as some havent got it as long and there not doing as well

I've even herd some of them say they'd rather PPMS then RRMS cause like me I could be alright one day then have a relapse and could end up using a wheelchair for anything from a couple of days or months or longer.

I would just be nice to understand more about it,


I was dx with ppms three years ago after a mri.

I had not really had my problems for long, slight limp, tripping and pins and needles in one hand, but they had never gone away.

Three years later I am vertually house bound and can just about get around the house with a rollator, where as when I was dx I was still working nine hours a day waitressing in a busy family restuarant.

I think I would rather have rrms myself, but I know many still have problems as bad as my own.

It would be lovely to just go out in my car even with adaptions on a good day, but as I never have one that is never going to happen now.


This trial may be of interest.

I find ldn helps my ppms and is worth checking out.



Hi Mark

I don’t think it is really what the Neuro sees on your results that dx one or the other (although I think that PPMSers tend to have have more lesions on the spine than the brain, but I’m not sure) It is that PPMSers have symptoms that get progressively worse and RRMSers have attacks that in the early days they more or less recover from completely.

I think this is how they are differentiated anyway.


Teresa xx



If you go onto the 'What is ms ' section of this site, it explains the different types of MS, RRMS, PPMS,Benign MS, and SPMS,  there is also a much more rare type of MS,where people go downhill very rapidly,

i think they diagnose the different types purley by  your 'history'  and your symptoms,


take mine for example, i was diagnosed 19 years ago with rrms, because for years i had been having times where, i had ,at the time unexpalined things happening to me, like when i had my son, 6 weeks after giving birth to him, i went numb from the waist down, for 8 weeks, then i picked up,and i kept getting these strange things happen, over the years,


and then when i was 32 i went numb all down one side, and couldnt speak or walk properly for 4 months,it was then i was given all the tests,and told i had rrms,

 i would then have relapses that followed a similar pattern, but i usually recoverd from them,and got back to 'near normal' but walking any distance was a problem from the start,


13 years after my rrms diagnosis, i had a severe brain stem relapse, and then told i was now secondary progressive MS, i sort of knew anyway,


i  have to use a w/c these days when outdoors, as my walking is almost  non exsistant  now,but to say i have had it for 19 years i think i am not that bad,it is such a varying disease for all of us,even us  labelled with the same type are all very different..


Hope this helps you a little.


Jaki xx

Thanks for all your answers its interesting to hear all your replies there are so many different types of MS I myself have aggressive relapse remitting MS its been stable now since August 2008 thank god. I was relapsing every 4 or 5 weeks before that it wasn't nice. I started Tysabri but thats another story :)