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Article
November 28, 1959

PRACTICAL HINTS IN THE EARLY DIAGNOSIS OF MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS

Author Affiliations

Duxbury, Mass.

JAMA. 1959;171(13):1792-1794. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.03010310024006
Abstract

It has been stated statistically that the average case of multiple sclerosis is diagnosed five years after the onset of the disease.1 It is the purpose of this paper to set forth a few practical hints that may alert the general practitioner or internist that multiple sclerosis, in a mild form, may be the cause of a patient's complaints. These complaints may, at first, be a single presentation such as one of the neuritides and later, or after careful neurological examination, a multiplicity of defects are noted and the diagnosis becomes apparent.

It is common knowledge, from the standpoint of pathology, that multiple sclerosis is a "patchy" type of demyelinating disease. It usually involves the central nervous system in a "hit-or-miss" pattern and is likened to syphilis, which can imitate any disease.2 I have found clinically, however, that certain signs and symptoms of multiple sclerosis seem to be

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