Early Diagnosis and Treatment Are Associated With Improved Outcomes in Patients With Multiple Sclerosis

The diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) can be challenging, with up to 20% of patients who attend subspecialty clinics for a second opinion being misdiagnosed with MS.1,2 Part of this diagnostic challenge relates to the lack of a sensitive and specific biomarker for the diagnosis of MS. To overcome this challenge, diagnostic criteria have been developed with the goal of securing an accurate diagnosis in a timely manner while avoiding misdiagnosis. These criteria have been refined since Charcot’s initial description of MS over 150 years ago, with significant changes in diagnostic criteria occurring over the past 30 years. The focus of the most recent iterations of MS diagnostic criteria has been to improve the speed of diagnosis to allow early treatment of appropriate patients in the disease-modifying therapy (DMT) era.

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