EXPANDING research, the growth of voluntary medical societies, and communications media have created familiarity with diseases formerly only occasionally identified by general physicians. Once virtuallyunheard of by the average layman, multiple sclerosis now has become a focus of growing interest to medical science, the public, and to practicing physicians. Most intelligent laymen know about the disorder, and many are acquainted with afflicted persons.
Multiple sclerosis has a world-wide, though uneven, distribution with a prevalence of roughly 50 per 100,000 people in the temperate zones. Translated into more intimate terms, this suggests that even in a small community of 10,000 people, there are apt to be approximately five patients with multiple sclerosis and likely one or more young families disturbed by its occurrence in a young parent. In such a community, based on an incidence of new cases per year of approximately three per 100,000, a new patient with the disease
Schumacher GA. Multiple Sclerosis. Arch Neurol. 1966;14(6):571–573. doi:10.1001/archneur.1966.00470120003001
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