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How many people are diagnosed with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS)?

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Most people with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis -- about 80% -- eventually get secondary progressive multiple sclerosis. The relapses and remissions that used to come and go change into symptoms that steadily get worse. The shift typically begins 15 to 20 years after you’re first diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

Because multiple sclerosis is such a complex disease, it can be hard to spot the changes that signal SPMS, even for health professionals. Doctors often wait at least 6 months before they diagnose SPMS.

SOURCES:

Up-To-Date: "Treatment of progressive multiple sclerosis in adults."

Multiple Sclerosis Society: "Secondary Progressive MS."

Cleveland Clinic: "Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis."

National Multiple Sclerosis Society: "What we know about secondary progressive multiple sclerosis."

Koch, M. , 2010. Journal of Neurology and Neurosurgery Psychiatry

Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada: "Living with Progressive MS."

Medscape Education: Clinical Review of Management of Secondary Progressive MS."

Reviewed by Christopher Melinosky on August 26, 2019

SOURCES:

Up-To-Date: "Treatment of progressive multiple sclerosis in adults."

Multiple Sclerosis Society: "Secondary Progressive MS."

Cleveland Clinic: "Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis."

National Multiple Sclerosis Society: "What we know about secondary progressive multiple sclerosis."

Koch, M. , 2010. Journal of Neurology and Neurosurgery Psychiatry

Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada: "Living with Progressive MS."

Medscape Education: Clinical Review of Management of Secondary Progressive MS."

Reviewed by Christopher Melinosky on August 26, 2019

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