Drugs Today (Barc). 1998 Feb;34(2):145-56
Werring DJ, Thompson AJ.
Department of Clinical Neurology, Institute of Neurology, London, UK.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is the commonest neurological cause of disability in young adults.
The clinical course is extremely variable, but typically a relapsing-remitting phase of variable duration is followed by a gradual progression in disability.
However, the diagnosis of MS may have an impact that reaches beyond the physical disabilities into many other aspects of life, including career and family.
The time of diagnosis is one of the most important in the course of the illness and the way in which investigations are conducted, the timing and manner of imparting the diagnosis, and subsequent support and education may have far-reaching consequences.
The diagnostic phase thus presents a difficult management challenge for the neurologist and other health workers attempting to address these issues.
This review considers the steps involved in reaching the diagnosis, together with ways in which the overall quality of life of the patient may be maximized during this period.