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What is Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis?

More than 1,000,000 Americans have multiple sclerosis (MS). What most do not know is that they very likely have a specific type of MS called relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). According to a recent study cataloged in the National Library of Medicine, approximately 85% of MS patients are technically RRMS patients, which comes as a surprise because most people would admit to having never heard of RRMS before.

The reason why so many people don’t know about relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis is because, as the name suggests, it isn’t persistent, so it isn’t always on their minds. Instead of being a nervous system disease that causes constant symptoms, RRMS is an early form of MS that only causes symptoms during intermittent periods. For example, someone with RRMS might have no noticeable symptoms for years, suffer a few weeks or months of MS symptoms, and then go back to showing no symptoms again for months or years.

RRMS symptoms are so concerning to medical professionals and patients alike because they are virtually unpredictable. People who experience relapses in their symptoms usually struggle to identify anything that would have indicated that a flare-up was about to begin again. However, what is predictable with RRMS is that the symptoms of each flare-up tend to be worse than the previous, becoming more severe until it turns into chronic MS.

What are RRMS Symptoms?

As an early form of multiple sclerosis, RRMS is caused by an immune system defect that causes the body’s immune cells to damage the protective myelin coating on axons, which are a part of neurons. When the myelin or axon is damaged, the neuron will struggle to send and receive nerve signals. The result can be a variety of different symptoms, depending on the extent of the nerve damage and potentially where the nerve damage occurred.

Symptoms of RRMS vary with each case, but many RRMS patients will experience the following:

  • Difficulty with memory or focus
  • Fatigue, even after restful sleep
  • Headaches or body aches
  • Numbing sensation on one side of the body
  • Vertigo or dizziness
  • Blurred vision or impaired color vision
  • Muscle tightness or spasticity
  • Sexual or bladder dysfunction

Can RRMS Be Treated?

Like MS, RRMS is resistant to treatment and is widely considered to be incurable. Instead of trying to cure RRMS, medical professionals focus on slowing the disease’s progression, reducing symptoms, and extending the time between relapses. Treatments that may help are usually disease-modifying therapies or DMTs, which can be administered as pills, injectable medications, or IV infusions.

Is RRMS Permanent?

Relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis is unusual because it is considered incurable, but it is also technically not permanent. However, it isn’t permanent because it appears that it will eventually progress to multiple sclerosis, which is chronic and causes constant symptoms. If you have been diagnosed with RRMS, you should talk to your doctor about how it could degenerate into MS and when that might happen based on the symptoms and relapse patterns you have already experienced.

Long-Term Disability Insurance for RRMS

People who have been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis may qualify for long-term disability insurance and benefits. By extension, people who have been diagnosed with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, an early form of MS, may also qualify for LTD insurance. In cases involving either disease, though, the process to get those benefits can be extremely challenging.

Insurance companies often fight claims filed by anyone without obvious outward symptoms. Most people with MS do not exhibit clear outward symptoms until the disease has progressed significantly, so they often struggle to get the LTD benefits they deserve. The same is true for people with RRMS, who are even less likely to have outward symptoms, especially when they are currently in remission before another painful relapse.

If you want to get LTD benefits following an RRMS diagnosis, start by coming to Dabdoub Law Firm for legal help. Our disability insurance and ERISA attorneys help clients nationwide who have all types of disabling health conditions, including MS, RRMS, and other neurological diseases. It would be our honor to see how we can help you get disability benefits, so you can start feeling a little more confident about your future while living with RRMS.

Call (800) 969-0488 to request a no-cost initial consultation with our firm.

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