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Thursday, April 18, 2013

MS in Latin America

During the last few years, there has been an increasing desire to study and expand current knowledge about the different aspects of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in Latin America (LATAM). This report analyzes epidemiological data and specific aspects of MS in this region and aims to describe the current situation, based on the very few scientific publications that contain reliable information.

Everything seems to indicate that MS in LATAM has some special characteristics that makes it different from what has been described in other areas of the world. Nevertheless, more thorough research has to be carried out in order to obtain conclusive data regarding the behaviour of the disease in LATAM.

Epidemiological aspects of MS have been the focus of extensive studies, mainly in high-risk areas
(Europe, the USA and Canada) where prevalence of the disease ranges from 60 to more than 250/100
000. Until recently, little was known about MS in LATAM, Asia and Africa, where MS prevalence was
estimated at 5/100 000.1,2 Recent studies show an increasing rate of prevalence in different European
cities as well as in countries previously considered as low-risk areas such as Mexico.3 LATAM is a vast geographical territory, extending from the southern limit of the USA to the Antarctic (South Pole). The total population of LATAM is nearly 450 000 000. From an historical point of view, it comprises all the countries of the American continent colonized by Spain, France and Portugal. The common language source of these countries is Latin; this gave rise to the term ‘Latin America’.

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The International MS Journal 2008;


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