Multiple sclerosis classification

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Fahimeh Shojaei, M.D.


Multiple sclerosis may be classified into four groups according to the clinical course of the disease. This includes relapsing-remitting, secondary-progressive, primary-progressive, and progressive-relapsing.


Subtypes Explanation
Relapsing remitting
Secondary progressive
  • Patient with long term RRMS can switch to secondary relapsing multiple sclerosis (SPMS) when the neurological symptoms progressively worsen between the attacks
Primary progressive
Progressive relapsing
  • Progressive relapsing multiple sclerosis (PRMS) is defined by progression of disease from the beginning with acute attack episodes

Other new multiple sclerosis subclasses


  1. Lublin FD; Reingold SC. Defining the clinical course of multiple sclerosis: results of an international survey. National Multiple Sclerosis Society (USA) Advisory Committee on Clinical Trials of New Agents in Multiple Sclerosis. Neurology 1996 Apr;46(4):907-11. PMID 8780061
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Lublin FD, Reingold SC, Cohen JA, Cutter GR, Sørensen PS, Thompson AJ, Wolinsky JS, Balcer LJ, Banwell B, Barkhof F, Bebo B, Calabresi PA, Clanet M, Comi G, Fox RJ, Freedman MS, Goodman AD, Inglese M, Kappos L, Kieseier BC, Lincoln JA, Lubetzki C, Miller AE, Montalban X, O'Connor PW, Petkau J, Pozzilli C, Rudick RA, Sormani MP, Stüve O, Waubant E, Polman CH (2014). "Defining the clinical course of multiple sclerosis: the 2013 revisions". Neurology. 83 (3): 278–86. doi:10.1212/WNL.0000000000000560. PMC 4117366. PMID 24871874.
  3. Katz Sand I (2015). "Classification, diagnosis, and differential diagnosis of multiple sclerosis". Curr. Opin. Neurol. 28 (3): 193–205. doi:10.1097/WCO.0000000000000206. PMID 25887774.

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