Prognosis of MS

If you have been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, what is the prognosis?

Modern therapy has resulted in a very good prognosis for patients with MS.    Some patients have a mild form of the disease.  About 1 of every 7 patients never have a second attack of symptoms, even if they are not treated.  Patients with a mild form of the disease, such as mild numbness, a small number of brain lesions, or a small number of attacks, have only a 10% chance of developing severe disease over the next 10-15 years.

For relapse-remitting forms of MS, which are the most common, there is normally a rate of 1 attack per year.  When patients undergo treatment for MS, they reduce their relapse rate to about 0.5 times per year.

Patients with severe disease, which include symptoms caused by brain stem lesions, a rapidly-progressive form of MS, or a very high number of brain lesions (over 25) have a worse prognosis.   They may benefit from working with a multidisciplinary MS clinic, such as one at a University.