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May 1981

Control Groups for Multiple Sclerosis Tests

Author Affiliations

Section of Neurological Sciences The London Hospital, Whitechapel London El, England

Arch Neurol. 1981;38(5):325-326. doi:10.1001/archneur.1981.00510050091025

To the Editor.—  The study on the psychological profiles of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) by Dr Peyser and her colleagues (Archives 1980;37:437-440) reflects the continuing and justified interest in the psychiatric aspects of this still-puzzling disease. Their multifactorial approach is also appropriate, for it takes account of aspects like age, sex, and educational level, which are relevant in the assessment of most diseases yet often are neglected.The authors' results are of interest, but a number of methodological flaws cast some doubt as to the meaning and significance of their findings. For example, they consider "probable" and "definite" patients, outpatients (presumably in remission), and those who were hospitalized all in one category, as though they were homogeneous. But this is unlikely, as some probable patients with MS are subsequently shown not to have the disease. They, as a group, generally show a significantly lower percentage of abnormality than "definite" patients when subjected

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