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5 things you should know about MS

The World vs.MS

Demand more

05.10.18

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blog header images

The future can seem uncertain, especially when you live with MS. Being informed about the disease can help you to take control, and Demand More from your life with MS.

1. MS symptoms will be different for everyone
1. MS symptoms will be different for everyone

The damage caused by MS can vary in severity and can occur at any location throughout your central nervous system. Because of this, the symptoms experienced and how severe they will become are unique to each individual.1,2

Although it is important to be aware of what could happen, try not to focus on the worst case scenario. For example, many people with MS fear the possibility of being in a wheelchair; however, the majority of people across the MS spectrum will never need to use a wheelchair on a regular basis.3

Reflecting on all the things you can do and setting goals can help you focus positvely on the future
Reflecting on all the things you can do and setting goals can help you focus positvely on the future
2. MS symptoms can come and go
2. MS symptoms can come and go
8 out of 10 people with multiple sclerosis will be diagnosed with the relapsing remitting type of MS
8 out of 10 people with multiple sclerosis will be diagnosed with the relapsing remitting type of MS
Someone with relapsing remitting MS (RRMS) will have episodes of new or worsening symptoms known as ‘relapses’, which typically appear over a few hours or days and last for days or months. These symptoms often improve; however, when they do not completely improve it can result in accumulating disability with each relapse.1 How often people with RRMS experience a relapse can vary, from experiencing several a year to going several years without relapse.4

There are instances where symptoms can become worse for reasons other than a relapse. For example, some people note that their symptoms get worse in the heat, when they are stressed or if they get an infection. Some individuals may experience day to day fluctuations in their symptoms.4

3. Not everybody with RRMS will develop progressive MS
3. Not everybody with RRMS will develop progressive MS

Progressive MS is a type of MS that is characterised by a steady and gradual increase in the number and severity of symptoms.1 Some people will first present with the progressive type of MS. In these instances, it is called ‘primary progressive MS’.5

Out of all people living with MS only 10% present with primary progressive MS
Out of all people living with MS only 10% present with primary progressive MS

Some people with RRMS will go on to develop progressive MS. In these instances, it is called ‘secondary progressive MS’. It is unclear what causes the transition to secondary progressive MS, but recent findings suggest that effective treatment with disease modifying treatments (DMTs) reduce the chance of this occurring.6,7

Prior to the availability of DMTs 50% of people would transition to seconday progressive MS within 10 years.
Prior to the availability of DMTs 50% of people would transition to seconday progressive MS within 10 years.
4. Early treatment can clow down the progression of M
4. Early treatment can clow down the progression of MS
Although there's no cure for MS, DMTs can result in: fewer and less severe relapses, a reduction in the buildup of disability
Although there's no cure for MS, DMTs can result in: fewer and less severe relapses, a reduction in the buildup of disability

By slowing down the build-up of irreversible damage, treatment with a DMT can improve:10,11

Long-term health and wellbeing
Long-term health and wellbeing

Current recommendations to doctors are that they should offer treatment as close to diagnosis as possible.12 It is important to remember that all DMTs come with risks and potential side effects so you should discuss your treatment options with your doctor or MS nurse.1

5.Multiple sclerosis is not a terminal condition
5.Multiple sclerosis is not a terminal condition

MS is considered as a chronic condition, but not a terminal one. Although people don’t die directly from MS, if they are severely affected by the disease the risk of dying from a complication related to MS is larger.13

The average life expectancy for someone with MS is around 5-10 years lower than average...but this gap is getting smaller all the time
The average life expectancy for someone with MS is around 5-10 years lower than average...but this gap is getting smaller all the time

What do you find yourself thinking about when you consider your future with MS?




I worry about how the disease could progress.

I think about the things I want to do in life.

I just concentrate on each day as it comes.

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Being informed about MS and understanding the facts can help you to feel more confident about your future. Consider your options, set goals for yourself and continue to Demand More from life with MS.

References:1. Multiple sclerosis – NHS UK. Available from: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/multiple-sclerosis/#outlook. Last accessed: July 2018. 2. MS symptoms – National MS society. Available from: https://www.nationalmssociety.org/Symptoms-Diagnosis/MS-Symptoms. Last accessed: July 2018. 3. MS: the facts – MS trust. Available from: https://www.mstrust.org.uk/about-ms/what-ms/ms-facts. Last accessed: July 2018. 4.Managing relapses – MS trust. Available from: https://www.mstrust.org.uk/about-ms/ms-symptoms/managing-relapses. Last accessed: July 2018. 5.Primary progressive MS – MS society UK. Available from: https://www.mssociety.org.uk/about-ms/types-of-ms/primary-progressive-ms. Last accessed: July 2018. 6. Brown J. Oral presentation at the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis congress; 2017; 26th October: Paris. Abstract:202481. 7. Tedeholm H et al. Mult Scler 2013; 19(6):765-764. 8. When the transition to SPMS occurs – National MS society. Available from: https://www.nationalmssociety.org/What-is-MS/Types-of-MS/Secondary-progressive-MS/When-the-transition-to-SPMS-occurs. Last accessed: July 2018. 9. Disease modifying drugs – MS trust. Available at: https://www.mstrust.org.uk/about-ms/ms-treatments/disease-modifying-drugs-dmds. Last accessed: July 2018. 10. Giovannoni G et al. Neurology 2016; 87(19):1985-1992. 11. Belachew S et al. Eur J Neurol 2011; 18(2):240-245. 12. Early treatment – MS society UK. Available from: https://www.mssociety.org.uk/about-ms/treatments-and-therapies/disease-modifying-therapies/early-treatment. Accessed July 2018. Last accessed: July 2018. 13. First questions – MS society UK. Available from: https://www.mssociety.org.uk/about-ms/diagnosis/first-questions. Last accessed: July 2018.

Date of approval: October 2018 GZEMEA.MS.18.07.0181a

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