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Schumacher criteria

The Schumacher criteria are a set of diagnostic criteria that were developed in 1965 and are still commonly used by neurologists to make a clinical diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. The Schumacher criteria were updated in 1983 by the Poser Criteria.

The Schumacher criteria are:

Because there is no definitive laboratory (or other) test for multiple sclerosis, the diagnosis is essentially a clinical one backed up by other findings (eg. MRI scans, spinal taps, VEP tests, SSEP tests etc.).

The Schumacher criteria led to the development of the following designations, which, though still broadly applied, have been updated with the advent of analysis of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) by electrophoresis and the ability to detect clinically silent lesions through MRI scans.

The Poser criteria have redefined these designations.

Schumacher Criteria Refs:

Schumacher GA, Beebe G, Kebler RF et al (1965) Problems of experimental trials of therapy in multiple sclerosis. Ann. NY Acad, Sci

Whitaker JN, Mitchell GW (1997) Clinical Features of multiple sclerosis. Multiple Sclerosis: Clinical and pathogenic basis ISBN 0 412 30890 8


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