MS often begins long before diagnosis, studies suggest

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People suffering from multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disease, can develop a variety of neurological symptoms caused by damage to the nervous system. These may include sensory dysfunction, such as numbness and visual impairment, especially in the early stages. In most patients, MS begins with a recurrent episode of neuropathy called a recurrence or demyelination event. These clinical events are followed by partial or complete remission. It can be difficult for even an experienced doctor to correctly interpret and diagnose multiple sclerosis, especially at first because the symptoms are so different.

Above average number of medical appointments

However, patients with multiple sclerosis have significantly more doctor visits, Hospitalization Years before the first Diagnosis Compared to a healthy control. In recent years, experts have considered this pre-diagnosis period as a possible stage of prodromal symptoms. disease..

MS often begins long before diagnosis

A new study, conducted in collaboration with Professor Bernhard Hemer, a neurologist at the Technische Universität München (TUM), suggests that many pre-diagnosis complaints may not represent a precursory phase. .. “Instead, the recurrence of unrecognized multiple sclerosis is likely to bring these individuals to see a doctor,” said Professor Hemmer. “This is because we found that there were frequent complaints of multiple sclerosis symptoms typical of doctors’ visits and hospitalizations. Many of the complaints from the prodromal stage are actually ongoing. I suspect it is due to my illness. It has not been diagnosed yet, but it is fully active and not in the preliminary or prodromal stage. “

Road to early diagnosis

The results of the study may also open up the possibility of optimizing MS treatment. “The sooner MS is recognized, the better it can be treated,” said Dr. Christiane Gasperi, MD, Physician and Researcher at the Neuro-Head Center at TUM Klinikum Rechts der Isar. “We need to look closely at whether the early symptoms of MS can be overlooked, which allows us to recognize the disease early and start treatment early.”

Infrequent respiratory tract infections

In addition to the more frequent complaints of the years before the diagnosis of MS, the results of the study also showed that people with MS are less likely to actually seek treatment for upper respiratory tract infections. “This was unexpected given the fact that multiple sclerosis recurrences can be associated with infections,” said Alexander Hap, co-lead author and adjunct professor at the TUM Institute for General Health Services. Dr. Fermeyer said. “But future research will be needed to determine if it exists. Causal relationship Between multiple sclerosis and the degree of protection against a particular infection, or whether the health data analyzed reflects the protective behavior adopted by a person with multiple sclerosis. ”

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For more information:
Christiane Gasperi et al, Systematic Evaluation of Medical Diagnosis Prior to Initial Diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis, Neurology (2021). DOI: 10.1212 / WNL.0000000000012074

Quote: In many cases, MS begins long before diagnosis, that the study was obtained from June 22, 2021. Suggests (June 22, 2021)

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MS often begins long before diagnosis, studies suggest

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