Post Edited (D'awesome) : 5/29/2008 5:57:46 AM (GMT-6)
I can't get your link to work..and don't have time right now to go over to the National MS site to find this..but I will!
I don't think that medically "benign" means "harmless", necessarily. You hear about people with "benign" brain tumors..and generally it means that it's "not cancerous", "not likely to kill them as quickly as a malignant" brain tumor...but not good.
"Mild" seems more appropriate. I think given the side effects of so many of the meds that we have to take for MS, maybe doctors are getting reluctant to prescribe those meds for folks like you who do have "relatively" mild symptoms, not significant disabilty, or where the disease, while it may be progressing, seems to be progressing rather slowly?
I don't know. I need to find the article to see just how it describes this.
Post Edited (D'awesome) : 5/29/2008 5:58:22 AM (GMT-6)
Don't you love the word "crud" ? It is so funny yet it says it all! Your first link seems to be working now. It must have been a temporary glitch. Benign MS is a very intersting topic. It offers some hope. It is also quite rare and most doctors won't give a diagnosis of "benign" until you have gone 15 years without mobility issues. It also means that you return to normal between flares meaning no residuals.
Love and prayers,
I just read the article (for reasons unknown to me ...computers are a mysterious thing..the link worked just fine rig ht now).
Anyway...as *I* read the article, the National MS Society is suggesting that indeed there isn't a "benign" MS. If you carefullly read the article, 50% of the people first labeled "benign" were seriously impaired by the end of the study, and another group were at least "moderately" impaired...suggesting that indeed MS is NOT "benign", that disability can and does happen, and happen frequently enough that whatever preventive measures are available to us ought to be taken.
I'm not a gambler. I've never so much as bought a lottery ticket; don't travel to Los Vegas, or for that matter to the Indian Casinos in my state. Only "chances" I've ever bought are the $1 or $2 "chances" at a local charity raffle. If I'm not willing to spend money gambling, why would I want to gamble that my course of MS might be "benign"?? (A rhetorical question because of course I do have MS, and it has never presented itself as benign...I had multiple and serious exacerbations early on.) I tell people -- hey, I know what this disease can do. I'm proof. Fortunately I'm still alive to talk about it. Why take the chance????
Yeah that is pretty much I message I got with my google search of "benign MS". One study said it might better be described as a spectrum where some are only slightly affected and others are severely affected. And the bottom line is that there is no way to predict who will be only slightly impaired and who is going to get slammed. I am like you Cat, I am not a gambler, I am glad to know for sure what this is and I am glad to be attempting to slow it down by getting treatment early and staying on that treatment.
Most studies and article say that after enough time has passed, most people do progress and many of those will need walking aids or more. It seems that benign MS may simply be a slow start to a more typical progression of MS.