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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Improper criteria use can lead to MS misdiagnosis


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Clinicians and researchers have known for decades that multiple sclerosis misdiagnosis is a problem. The authors of a new study define the nature of medical conditions that lead patients to be misdiagnosed with MS and possible reasons why they are misdiagnosed. They hope the study will encourage better education of clinicians on the proper use of MS diagnostic criteria and on the problem of MS misdiagnosis, and further study of how to recognize patients incorrectly diagnosed with MS.

The study involved 24 MS subspecialist neurologists at Mayo Clinic, University of Vermont, Washington University and Oregon Health and Science University, who identified an incorrect diagnosis of MS in 110 patients. In the study, five primary diagnoses or syndromes were identified in two-thirds of participants as the actual causes of symptoms misidentified as MS: migraine, either alone or in combination with other problems; fibromyalgia; an abnormal MRI with unexplained symptoms; a psychological condition; and neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder, a disease similar to MS that affects the optic nerves and spinal cord.

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