Primary Progressive

for SEO.

What is Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis?

Primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS) is a progressive, rare form of multiple sclerosis. It is characterized by ongoing deterioration of neurological function with relatively few acute relapses of symptoms. In contrast to other forms of multiple sclerosis, PPMS is characterized by steadily worsening symptoms from the outset, which is why it is known as “primary” progressive.

What are the symptoms of Primary Progressive MS?

The symptoms of PPMS vary by patient, but generally, it causes walking difficulties, vision loss, numbness or tingling, stiffness, balance problems, bladder or bowel issues, and fatigue. Symptoms can fluctuate or increase progressively over time, sometimes with minor relapses in between, but without full remissions.

What Causes Primary Progressive MS?

The cause of primary progressive multiple sclerosis is not known, but some believe it is caused by an autoimmune process. This process causes the body to attack the insulating sheath surrounding nerve cells, which can cause nerve signals to be disrupted. Other factors such as genetics, capsaicin, environmental factors, and viral infections may also play a role.

Treatment Options for Primary Progressive MS

Unfortunately, there are no treatments that have been specifically developed to treat primary progressive multiple sclerosis, though medications and therapies may be used to reduce its symptoms. Some of the medications approved for PPMS include fingolimod, dalfampridine, dimethyl fumarate, and interferon beta-1a and 1b. Other treatments such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, and psychological therapy can also help manage symptoms.

Living with Primary Progressive MS

Living with primary progressive multiple sclerosis can be difficult, but there are resources available to help. Support groups, online resources, and your doctor can help you learn more about managing PPMS, and there are treatments that can help relieve symptoms and improve your quality of life.

Tips for Coping with Primary Progressive MS

  • Be active. Exercise can help keep your muscles and joints active, reduce fatigue, and give you more confidence in your body.
  • Maintain a healthy diet. Eating nutritious, whole foods can help manage fatigue, improve overall health, and reduce inflammation.
  • Stay connected. Having a strong social support system is important to staying positive and healthy, and many online support groups exist for those living with PPMS.
  • Change your environment. Some environmental factors, such as temperature, humidity, lighting, and noise, can affect the onset and duration of symptoms. Make small environmental changes to find what works best for you.
  • Stay organized. Make a schedule of your appointments, medications, and daily tasks, and use a planner or calendar to stay organized.