Author Topic: "MS does not remit": Dr. Patricia Coyle interviewed at CMSC  (Read 56 times)

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Offline agate

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A blog post appearing in Multiple Sclerosis News (June 9) briefly discusses a statement made by Dr. Patricia Coyle, a neurologist and researcher, at the conference of the CMSC (Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers) recently.

MS Does Not Remit’ – Call to Change RRMS Name to Relapsing MS

 Ian Franks

MS does not remit and the out dated term causes many people to delay taking medication, says Dr Patricia Coyle, Founder and Director of Stony Brook’s MS Comprehensive Care Center.

Last week, at the CMSC Annual Meeting in Maryland, during a live-streamed presentation covered by Multiple Sclerosis News Today, she said: “MS doesn’t remit.”

Now, that is peculiar for a disease that is divided into different types, with the most people with MS having the relapsing-remitting variety.

This week I caught up with Dr. Coyle and put this conundrum to her.

She explained: “RRMS is the major type and the one in which, between relapses or attacks, the patient appears to recover completely and is absolutely stable but it is wrong to say it stops.

“In reality, the disease has not stopped at all but continues to cause ongoing damage. It goes on silently damaging the tissue of the central nervous system.

Disease hides but does not remit

“Many people take this so-called remission as a sign that the [now-hidden  disease] is doing no harm. So they decide not to take medications that would help protect them from the silent attack on their nervous systems,” said Dr. Coyle.

Asked if she would rename RRMS, she readily agreed that she would. “Relapsing-remitting MS is an old name from many years ago. It is a misnomer and is misleading. It really is time we changed it.”

To what, I asked. “Relapsing MS is a better title,” she said. And I think she is right. That name says that you have MS all the time but at certain times you will have relapses, when you will get worse. “This disease doesn’t burn out, it does not remit; let’s call it relapsing MS,” she added....

I respectfully disagree. From the patient's perspective, if there are no symptoms or signs of the MS attack, the disease has to be said to be "in remission" even though it is commonly known that it is still "there," hiding in the central nervous system and apt to appear again at any time.

That is what "in remission" means. It is said of a disease that can come back at any time though currently it is not manifesting itself.

Just my opinion though.
MS Speaks--online for 13 years

SPMS, diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2001-2004. Copaxone 2007-2010.


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