PREVIOUS QUESTION:

 

NEXT QUESTION:

 

What causes primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS)?

ANSWER

Doctors think multiple sclerosis (MS) -- no matter which type you have -- is a condition that happens when the body attacks itself, called an autoimmune disease. The immune system damages the protective coating around the nerves (called myelin) of the brain and spinal cord. This causes inflammation.

If you have primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS), though, there is little inflammation. Instead, nerve damage is the main problem. It keeps nerves from sending and receiving signals to each other very well. This causes MS symptoms.

Eventually, plaques of scar tissue, or lesions, can form along the damaged nerves in the brain and spinal cord.

From: Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

United Spinal Association: "Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis: Understanding the Differences."

National Multiple Sclerosis Society: "What we know about primary progressive MS."

Multiple Sclerosis Association of America: "Primary progressive multiple sclerosis: What you need to know."

Holland, N. , 2011. International Journal of MS Care

Multiple Sclerosis International Federation.

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

Reviewed by Neil Lava on March 1, 2018

SOURCES:

United Spinal Association: "Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis: Understanding the Differences."

National Multiple Sclerosis Society: "What we know about primary progressive MS."

Multiple Sclerosis Association of America: "Primary progressive multiple sclerosis: What you need to know."

Holland, N. , 2011. International Journal of MS Care

Multiple Sclerosis International Federation.

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

Reviewed by Neil Lava on March 1, 2018

NEXT QUESTION:

Do hot temperatures affect multiple sclerosis symptoms?

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.