Author Affiliation: Departments of Neurology and Microbiology, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is the most common demyelinating disease of
humans. In the United States alone, the prevalence is 250 000 to 350 000
cases.1 Based on data accumulated in 1994,
the annual cost was estimated at more than $34 000 per person, translating
into a conservative estimate of a national annual cost of $6.8 billion and
a total lifetime cost per case of $2.2 million.2
Most MS patients are young. Disease usually begins between ages 15 and 45
years and has a relapsing-remitting course, although a substantial proportion
of patients develop chronic progressive disease.
Gilden DH. Viruses and Multiple Sclerosis. JAMA. 2001;286(24):3127-3129. doi:10.1001/jama.286.24.3127