- SPMS is often diagnosed retrospectively with a delay of up to three years, as many of the subtle signs and symptoms marking progression (cognition, balance) are often missed1,2
- Signs that can indicate progression from RRMS to SPMS include an overall worsening of symptoms; loss of cognitive function, worsening ambulation, muscle weakness, impaired vision, fatigue, and bladder symptoms are signs of progression2,3
- A lack of clear recovery, increased severity, continued relapses and presence of new symptoms are also signs of progression with SPMS2
- No single sign or symptom indicates progression to SPMS2
Symptoms associated with and important in identifying SPMS, as reported by clinicians (N=16)2
Adapted from: Ziemssen T, et al. Mult Scler Relat Disord. 2020;38:101861
More people with SPMS vs. RRMS generally rate their MS as being of greater severity (21.9% [n=105] vs. 5.7% [n=458], respectively; p<0.001)3
Prominent diagnostic symptoms of SPMS include loss of cognitive function, vision-related symptoms, and ambulatory and balance-related issues2,3
- Cognitive dysfunction is more common in SPMS than RRMS,4,5 with a higher number of patients with at least one or two deficient cognitive domain(s)6
- In a large (N=1040; RRMS patients=759 and SPMS patients=74) sample study investigating cognitive dysfunction in MS, a significantly larger proportion of patients with SPMS vs. RRMS experienced cognitive impairments (79.4% vs. 44.5%, respectively)7
- Other early signs of cognitive decline in MS include deterioration of verbal fluency, followed by attention and information processing deficits8
MS, multiple sclerosis; RRMS, relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis; SPMS, secondary progressive multiple sclerosis.
- Katz Sand I, Krieger S, Farrell C, Miller AE. Mult Scler. 2014;20(12):1654–1657.
- Ziemssen T, Tolley C, Bennet B, et al. Mult Scler Relat Disord. 2020;38:101861.
- Gross HJ, Watson C. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2017;13:1349–1357.
- Oset M, Stasiolek M, Matysiak M. Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep. 2020;20(7):22.
- Brochet B, Ruet A. Front Neurol. 2019;10:26.
- Planche V, Gibelin M, Cregut D, et al. Eur J Neurol. 2016;23(2):282–289.
- Ruano L, Portaccio E, Goretti B, Niccolai C, Severo M, Patti F, et al. Mult Scler. 2017;23(9):1258–1267.
- Achiron A, Polliack M, Rao SM, et al. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2005;76(5):744–749.