More MS news articles for June 2002

Prevalence and characteristics of multiple sclerosis in the health district of the Marina Alta

Rev Neurol 2002 Apr 16;34(8):732-7
Garc a Gallego A, Morera Guitart J.
Unidad de Neurolog a; Hospital Marina Alta, Denia, 03700, Espa a.


To determine the prevalence and characteristics of multiple sclerosis (EM) in the Marina Alta health district.


A descriptive, retrospective study localizing cases (crossed register method). Day of prevalence: 1/05/01. Registers of the area analyzed: hospital admission, Neurology Clinic, Emergency Department of the hospital and Health Centres. The criteria of Poser were used for diagnosis. We analyzed the demographic, clinical and paraclinical aspects of the episodes and treatment (interferon b).


Male/female ratio: 2.4. Average age: 46.6 years. Prevalence of definite EM: 40.3/100,000. Prevalence of autochthonous cases of EM: 28.7/100,000. Average age at onset: 32.6 years. Average duration of illness: 12.5 years. Commonest clinical form: remitting relapsing (48.1%), followed by progressive relapsing (7%), benign (5.5%) and primary progressive (1.8%). 5.5% died, all with the progressive secondary form. EDSS disability: greater in the progressive secondary form. Magnetic resonance (MR) was the commonest investigation used (84% of the results in concordance and 13% normal). Positive BOC in 70% of cases. We studied 202 episodes. The systems most affected were: sensory and pyramidal. Worsening of EDSS after recovery from the episode: 51.7%. 29% received interferon b, with five cases (31%) of major side effects (one psychotic outbursts, three with neutropenia and one generalized allergic reaction).


In the Marina Alta the prevalence of EM adjusted for the autochthonous population is in the medium risk zone. The clinical features and course of the disease in our patients are similar to those seen in other national and foreign series. The most worthwhile tests were cranial MR and BOC CSF. Treatment with interferon b requires strict control in view of the high frequency of serious side effects seen.