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Medical News & Perspectives
October 10, 2001

New Diagnostic Criteria for MS Issued

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JAMA. 2001;286(14):1703. doi:10.1001/jama.286.14.1703-JMN1010-3-1

Washington—An overhaul of clinical criteria for diagnosing multiple sclerosis (MS), the first in 20 years, should increase the certainty of diagnosis while expediting treatment in some cases, according to an international panel that developed the standards.

Devised for practicing clinicians, the pragmatic criteria formally include magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for the first time, and outline the role of tests such as cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) analysis. In addition, the system accomplishes another first by accounting for the sundry presentations of the four types of MS: relapsing remitting, secondary progressive, primary progressive, and progressive relapsing. A fifth element that the new criteria deal with is monosymptomatic demyelinating disease suggestive of MS.

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