Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis (RMS)

Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis (RMS)

Relapsing multiple sclerosis (RMS) is a type of multiple sclerosis (MS) that is characterized by recurrent episodes of neurological symptoms that may last from days or weeks to months. It is the most common form of multiple sclerosis. RMS appears to be most common between the ages of 20-50.

RMS is an autoimmune disorder, which means the immune system mistakenly attacks the body's own tissues. In RMS, the immune system attacks the central nervous system (CNS), which includes the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerve. The attack causes inflammation and damage to the protective coating (myelin) of nerve cells, leading to impaired communication between these cells. This disruption in communication between nerve cells is what causes the various symptoms of the disorder.

There is currently no cure for RMS, but there are a number of treatment options available to manage the symptoms and reduce the frequency and severity of relapses. Common treatments for RMS include disease-modifying therapies (DMTs), nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and immunomodulatory drugs. These treatments are designed to suppress the immune system, which reduces inflammation and slows the progression of the disease.

Signs and Symptoms of RMS

  • Fatigue
  • Muscle weakness
  • Visual problems
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Loss of balance or coordination
  • Difficulty with speech or swallowing
  • Difficulty with memory or concentration
  • Pain
  • Bladder and bowel problems

Risk Factors

RMS is more common in women than in men. It is also more common in certain ethnic groups, including Caucasians and those of Asian, African, or Hispanic descent. Other factors that may increase the risk for RMS include:

  • Age – RMS is most common between the ages of 20-50
  • Genetics – Certain genetic variants may increase the risk
  • Environmental exposures – Exposure to certain viruses or toxins may increase risk
  • Smoking – Smoking may increase the risk of RMS
  • Obesity – People who are overweight or obese may be at a higher risk