More MS news articles for Nov 2001

Early prediction of a benign course of multiple sclerosis on clinical grounds: a systematic review|-2366265230036197976/-1052814329/6/7051/7051/7052/7052/7051/-1

Multiple Sclerosis,
October 2001, vol. 7, no. 5,   pp. 345-347(3)
Ramsaransing G. [1] *; Maurits N. [1]; Zwanikken C. [1]; De Keyser J. [1]
[1] Department of Neurology, Academisch Ziekenhuis Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands [*] Correspondence: G Ramsaransing, Department of Neurology, Academisch Ziekenhuis Groningen, P.O. Box 30.001, 9700 RB Groningen, The Netherlands


There is growing consensus that neurologists should consider disease-modifying therapies early in multiple sclerosis (MS). However, there is a subgroup with a natural benign course, in which treatment could be postponed. We sought to determine the frequency of benign MS and early clinical factors that may predict a benign course.


We performed a systematic review of the existing literature on benign MS, which was defined as minimal or no disability equivalent to a score on the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) 3.0 at least 10 years after disease onset.


Only a small number of studies of adequate quality was available. In total there were nine published studies representing 2204 patients. The estimated frequency of benign MS was 26.7%. Onset with optic neuritis, onset before the age of 40 years, absence of pyramidal signs at presentation, duration of first remission more than 1 year, and only one exacerbation in the first 5 years after onset of MS, were associated with a benign course.


From the existing literature a set of unrelated clinical characteristics emerged that was associated with a benign course of MS. However, there is a need for prospective studies to define more precisely clinical and paraclinical predictors of benign MS.

© 2001 ingenta