Primary progressive multiple sclerosis: different perspectives

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Primary progressive multiple sclerosis, or PPMS, affects about 15-20% of people diagnosed with MS. The name describes the course of this type of disease: from the first (primary) symptom the disease is fairly steady, but then progresses slowly over time.

Early symptoms are often subtle problems, such as walking difficulties, but as these worsen over time people with PPMS may need more assistance with their everyday activities. 

I was getting progressively worse and really struggling to walk very far, and then worryingly for me being a piano player I was getting numbness in my fingers.
Craig Milverton, PPMS patient and professional pianist.

Unlike relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (RMS), the diagnosis of PPMS may take two to three years longer due to the gradual change in functional ability. This means diagnosis most often occurs in people in their forties and fifties.

Here, Dr. de Seze (Department Head of the Neurology and Clinical Investigation Centre at the University of Strasbourg, France) and Craig Milverton, who lives with PPMS, share their experiences and the importance of overcoming disability to maintain independence.  

What is primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS)?

Dr de Seze discusses symptoms and diagnosis of PPMS, and the importance of early treatment.

Craig Milverton – primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS): My musical story

The same year I won the British Jazz Pianist of the Year Award, which I was very proud of, I was diagnosed with MS. I shall never forget that day.

Tags: Science, Patients