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MS is a condition that can progress consistently or sporadically through cycles of exacerbations (when the condition is acute) and remissions (where there are hardly any evidence of the disease). In exacerbations new symptoms can develop over several days or weeks and then often resolve themselves in part or in whole. During remission, the patient has no symptoms for many months or years. The rate at which the disease progresses varies from person to person.
Relapsing- remitting: Most common form of MS, accounts for 85% of all cases. Patients experience acute exacerbations, that may or may not leave permanent damage and disabilities, followed by periods of remission.
Progressive- relapsing: MS that is consistently getting worse and includes periods of acute episodes
Secondary progressive: Begins as relapsing remitting, but then progresses to a constant steady decline without remission phases. Around 60-70 percent of individuals who have relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis will go on to have secondary progression.
Primary progressive: Steady decline in medical health without periods of exacerbations and remissions