All About Multiple Sclerosis

More MS news articles for January 2003

Impairment, disability and handicap scales in multiple sclerosis

Rev Neurol 2002 Dec 1-15;35(11):1081-94
Arbizu Urdiain T, Martinez Yelamos A, Casado Ruiz V.
Ciutat Sanitaria i Universitaria de Bellvitge, L Hospitalet de Llobregat, Espa a.

Introduction and method.

In recent years the need to create scales for measuring the dysfunction or impairment suffered by patients with multiple sclerosis has increased.

The aim of the scales that measure neurological impairment is two fold: to homogenise the data from different series so that studies into the prognosis and natural history of the disease can be compared, and to measure the changes in the progress of the disease when a therapy has been established.

Over the past few years a large number of scales have appeared that attempt to redress the shortcomings of the EDSS (Expanded Disability Status Scale).

The latest of these, the MSF Composite, manages to overcome the statistical problems of the EDSS and enables significant differences between two groups to be detected when studying the effect of a treatment.


In the coming years we will possibly witness a joint use of several of the scales described, and both the EDSS and the Composite will be employed together in the evaluation of patients in therapeutic protocols, perhaps together with a quality of life scale.