Benign MS

In benign MS relapses (attacks of MS symptoms) are very few and far between, with good recovery and little or no permanent disability developing, even over many years. It can therefore only be diagnosed by looking back over the whole course of a person’s lifetime. Some neurologists think that as many as 20% of people with MS may have this benign form of the condition. The long-term outlook for a person with benign MS is generally good, but there can be exceptions and some people do find their benign MS worsens in later life.1,2

Relapsing-remitting MS

At diagnosis, 80-85% of people have relapsing remitting MS. They experience relapses on average once or twice per year, often with good or complete recovery (remission) in between. However, there is a tendency for symptoms to worsen very gradually over time.1,2

Secondary progressive MS

People who start off with relapsing remitting MS may go on to develop a progressive form of the condition; on average this occurs 15-20 years after diagnosis. Relapses may happen less often, but disability slowly increases.1,2

Primary progressive MS

About 10% of people experience symptoms right from the start that become progressively worse over a period of years without remission.1,2