HOW MS PROGRESSES

THE REALITY OF PROGRESSING MS

If you or your loved one has been living for years with multiple sclerosis (MS), you know the ups and downs of the condition.

But the reality is, MS is progressive. You may find you're not recovering from relapses like you used to. You may get new symptoms or your symptoms may get worse over time, often lingering between relapses. Doing simple chores around the house or spending time with family and friends may become increasingly difficult.

Although thinking about progressing MS isn't easy, you shouldn't wait to take action. Taking a fresh look at your MS and discussing any changes with your doctor may help you adjust to new challenges.

The earlier you
start a conversation
about secondary progressive MS (SPMS), the better off you may be down the road.

Learn more.

I'm Realistic About the Possibility of MS Progression I'm Realistic About the Possibility of MS Progression I'm Realistic About the Possibility of MS Progression I'm Realistic About the Possibility of MS Progression

WHAT'S GOING ON INSIDE YOUR BODY

1.

1. Your central nervous system includes your brain and spinal cord. It's made up of nerves that send signals all around your body. These signals control many things such as

  • Involuntary actions
    (eg, breathing, heartbeat, senses)

  • Voluntary actions (eg, moving, speaking)

Central Nervous System

2.

2. MS is considered an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system. Lymphocytes (white blood cells in your immune system) mistake your myelin (coating around nerves) and axons (nerve fibers) for something that shouldn't be there.

Myelin is the Coating on the Nerves

3.

3. The lymphocytes then attack the healthy nerves, creating inflammation, which damages the myelin coating and exposes the axon nerve fibers.

Lymphocytes Healthy Tissue Inflammation

4.

4. When your myelin is inflamed and damaged, you may experience a relapse—noticeable MS symptoms that last anywhere from a day to months.

Relapses are Noticeable MS Symptoms

HOW MS PROGRESSES

Over time with MS, there may be less myelin left to attack,
and your axons, or nerve fibers, become more exposed.

MS Nerve Damage Caused by Less Myelin

Picture your nerves as wires that have electrical signals trying to move through
them, but no protective coating. Because of the lack of protective coating,
your nerve signals, like electrical signals, can be slowed or stopped all together.

Damage to your nerves builds up, which causes symptoms to worsen.
This can lead to disability that can impact your daily activities.

STAY INFORMED

Ongoing research and advancements are
happening in MS all the time. Stay informed
by signing up for the latest information.

SIGN UP FOR
INFORMATION arrow

CARE PARTNER CORNER

There's so much to concentrate on with MS, but you should keep your eye on the big picture. MS is a progressive disease that can get worse over time. Subtle changes to your loved one's MS can add up over time between relapses, changes you may notice before he or she does. Maybe you're helping out around the house, cooking dinner, or running errands more often. Write down any changes you see in your loved one's MS, and discuss with your loved one and his or her doctor.

START TRACKING CHANGES
IN YOUR LOVED ONE'S MS arrow

Look for more care partner tips throughout this site.