Six months after its public launch, the MS PatientsLikeMe community includes over 1 in 200 MS patients in the U.S. and the rate of growth continues to escalate.
To mark the occasion and experiment with new community tools, we put together the first PatientsLikeMe community report. In this report, we begin to paint a portrait of the MS community, who is in it, and how the community compares with previous research on MS. This post features portions of the report.
In the descriptive section we discuss characteristics of the user base such as what types of MS users have. As you can see in the figure below, all types of MS are represented with 61% of users report having relapsing and remitting MS.
The report also explores research questions that the size of our community now allows us to address. For example, we look at the many ways MS first manifests itself – the variety of initial symptoms. In the figure below, we chart how two different types of MS (relapsing-remitting and secondary progressive) first appeared. The most common first symptoms for both types were “sensory changes” and “optic neuritis.” But “Difficulties walking” was a more common first symptom for relapsing-remitting MS than for secondary progressive MS.
If you have MS or are a caregiver to someone with MS, take a look at the report posted on PatientsLikeMe. Note: requires registration on the site.
Based on feedback, we will be integrating some of the elements into an new upcoming area on PatientsLikeMe. Stay tuned!