Which type

Hi everyone I am new here and awaiting my test results. If they come back as MS how do they then ditermine which type you have? Sorry I am a bit Many thanks Kim

hi, by taking a note of how often you have relapses, or if you have them.

they may wait and see before diagnosing.


The types of MS have for years seemed to be set in stone. If you have a clear pattern of relapses and remission, then you have relapsing remitting MS. If you then move into a phase where remission stops, then you are secondary progressive. If however, you never have clear cut relapses and remission, then you are progressive from the start, or primary progressive.

But, there is a lot of debate about this. For example, many people suffer smallish relapses with remission for years before they are diagnosed, by which time they are progressive, they are then labelled PPMS.

Other people who are classed as SPMS continue to have relapses. And neurologists are often reluctant to describe someone as SP because while they are still classed as RR, they continue to be eligible for DMDs.

There is now a growing consensus that MS should not be divided in the way it is. See this article from the excellent Barts Blog (I think PJday has posted this or something similar before as I know she agrees with it) Multiple Sclerosis Research: Advanced MS

The authors are arguing that MS is one disease, not three, and instead of the word Progressive, we should be using the term Advanced. This then allows people with RRMS to be classed as Advanced although not progressive. And removes a lot of confusion. There is so often a feeling when you have had RRMS for years to start feeling like you might now be progressive. And then you have a really serious relapse with some clear remission, which proves you wrong. It can lead people to stop taking DMDs too early.

But to answer your question Kim, if and when you are diagnosed, unless there is clear evidence to the contrary, you would normally be categorised as relapsing remitting in the first instance. This then means you qualify for disease modifying drugs.


Thank you Sue, I have gone over the years from having time pain free to now having no let up from pain and symptoms. I may be lucky to have 2/3 days feeling ‘normal’ with reduced pain but then wham bang it is back again. My life atm is pain whenever I try to do normal everyday things. I am only pain free whilst sitting or laying down. My mobility is worsening but I try to push myself each day.