Benign MS is a type of recurring - remitting multiple sclerosis type in which few recurs occur within ten to twenty years. Such relapses produce temporary sensory symptoms, leaving little or no residual damage to the brain.
Benign multiple sclerosis is in fact a sub-division of relapsing/remitting NS. Unfortunately, benign MS patients are often reclassified as Secondary Progressive in time.
Multiple Sclerosis and fingertips: as unique as they are
Symptoms have a large scale of variation depending on which parts of the CNS are damaged and how severe the damage is. There is little probability that two people are diagnosed with MS in exactly the same way, as their cerebral damage is as unique as their fingertips.
However, the variable courses of the condition, both in the case of an individual and regarding the whole population, mainly differ in their severity, timing and location.
Multiple Sclerosis and the British weather: they have the same predictability
Motor symptoms and/or co-ordination symptoms show a worse prognosis than the sensory symptoms in addition.
An accurate prediction of the course of MS for any diagnosed patient is simply impossible. However, the first five years reveal some information of how the disease will evolve for that individual. The disability level reached at key points (five and ten years) remains a reliable predictor of which the course of the condition will be.
In most cases the course varies somewhere between benign and malignant and the disease may present features of both sets of indicators.
Generally, one of the better indicators of a patient’s disease evolution is their past course of the condition. If you have experienced a slow progression so far, then you will more likely keep a slow evolution course than if he strikes have been more aggressive in the past.
Factors that indicate a benign course of Multiple Sclerosis:
• Purely sensory (optic neuritis) initially
• Female sex.
• Disease onset before the age of 25
• Debut symptoms from a single region.
• The first two relapses at a long interval in between
• Not so many lesions shown on MRI scan
• Few affected neurological systems within the first five years of disease along with a low brain damage score
• No Myelin Basic Protein (MBP) found in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) while remitting
Benign MS - like the tip of an iceberg
About 10 to 15 per cent of cases are diagnosed as benign.
During its ten years of “childhood”, multiple sclerosis strikes periodically allowing the person to recover and leaving little residual disability. But the tricky part is that, between attacks, there is a little damage in the brain and spinal cord that ads up each time an attack occurs and in fifteen to twenty years time, this damage becomes incontrollable and large. Treatment is, however, administrated by injection and the expenses are high.