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"If I leave my RRMS untreated can it progress to another form of multiple sclerosis?"

ZocdocAnswersIf I leave my RRMS untreated can it progress to another form of multiple sclerosis?


I have no insurance, I can't afford insurance and since my state chose not to extend Medicaid I cannot get government assistance for my health care.


Multiple sclerosis is a neurologic condition in which the lining of your nerve cells degenerates for unclear reasons (most likely due to an auto-immune process) and can lead to significant disability. As you know, there are different types of MS that relate to differences in the progression of the disease. It is very important for you to schedule an appointment to see your doctor to discuss the treatment options for this condition and possible strategies for paying for this treatment. He or she may know of assistance programs that would be available to you to help pay for the medications that you need. There are four types of multiple sclerosis: relapsing-remitting (or RRMS); primary progressive; secondary progressive; and progressive-relapsing. The relapsing-remitting type, which you have, is the least severe of these. However, it does have the potential to progress to one of the other types. Also, even if you have the relapsing-remitting type, you may be left with residual deficits from your relapses that can get worse over time. In order to prevent these deficits, a number of treatments have been developed to prevent relapses, and thus prevent the disability that can result from them. The first agents usually used, interferons or glatiramer acetate, have been shown to reduce the frequency of relapses by 30%. Although these treatments do not decrease the risk of your MS changing into a different type, they do decrease the disability associated with relapsing-remitting MS by helping to prevent relapses, which may have more permanent effects. I am very sorry to hear about your insurance issues, but I also feel strongly that you should schedule an appointment to see your neurologist, as treatments for MS can significantly and positively affect your disease. He or she may even know of options available to you to help pay for the medications to treat your MS.

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