Does Knowing the Type of MS I Have Affect My Treatment?

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The drugs that we use today all of them work on what we call the relapsing remedying form of MS. You have an attack, the eyes have lost a vision, the numbness from the waist down, the double business slurred speech, and we see on the brain new areas of damage forming. Those who have the progressive forms of MS where there are no attacks usually older people who show just a steady decline in function over a year so called primary progressive MS counts for a minority about 15% of people usually older people there's no evidence that any of our drugs work for them.

So if you are 30 years old and you are getting an attack of optic neuritis get on the right treatment as soon as possible. What's the right treatment? We don't know, we don't have markers that allow us to predict response, so what we try to figure out with the individual in front of us physician and the patient is to understand what is this person willing to put up with and be compliant with?

So some find taking an injection everyday and anathema I can't do this, and there are tablets, but the tablets may have side effects that maybe more serious than what we see with the injectible treatment. Then there are drugs that have real danger like tysabri where if you have this virus on board you take this medication that puts you at risk for a potentially fatal complication and do treatment, so it's trying to get a sense of what the patient will put up with, how risk adversive they are and where to perceive. And then for the patient and the doctor to be vigilant because we believe if you don't control the accumulation of disability from the very beginning and you let it go and you allow white spots to accumulate in the brain or spinal cord regardless of whether there are symptoms the prognosis becomes worse and worse every year.