Multiple Sclerosis Misdiagnosis is Occurring More and More Regularly
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease that affects the central nervous system
of the person affected. Though there are no specific diagnostic tests
to detect MS, symptoms may sometimes present themselves like symptoms
for other diseases, leading to serious misdiagnoses by medical professionals.
Sometimes what appears to be MS symptoms may actually be symptoms for
more common disorders like migraines, fibromyalgia, Lyme disease, lupus,
or a Vitamin B12 deficiency. For
MS, it is important that there is early detection because early treatment
may help patients. However, it is possible that misdiagnosis and early
treatment as MS, may make the symptoms disappear but not because the treatment
is working, but because the symptoms are for another disorder entirely.
This can create further issues if the patient should be treated for another
disorder and may significantly benefit from early detection and treatment.
The Study Identifying the Effect of Misdiagnosis of MS
In one study
published in the journal,
Neurology, at the end of August of 2016, it was found that there are concerning
reasons why many patients are being misdiagnosed as having MS. First and
foremost, there is no specific test or biomarker that may make it obvious
that a person is suffering from MS. What’s more, the symptoms present
on a wide spectrum and together may look like MS, but may be the effect
of multiple disorders affecting a person, or one disorder that imitates MS.
The study further continued that of those participants who had been
misdiagnosed as having MS, 72% were treated with medication for MS; 33% of those misdiagnosed
remained as misdiagnosed more than a decade before evaluations were done
by the study’s physicians to prove that they were not actually suffering
from MS. Four of these patients actually had gone through MS experimental
trials for possible therapies. One third of the study participants ended
up suffering from, as a result of their “diagnosis,” morbid
thoughts surrounding what seemed to be their impending deaths, even though
they did not actually have MS.
The Danger of Misdiagnosis
What makes misdiagnosis dangerous for the patients is the medication and
treatment generally prescribed to patients; the predominant medication
taken by roughly 13% of the patients can lead to a fatal brain infection.
Not only is taking the wrong medication dangerous for the patients and
can have long lasting implications for the clinical trials that they are
a part of, these patients are not actually being treated for the disorder
that they do have.
Recommendations to Reduce Misdiagnosis Risk
Though early detection and early treatment is crucial when it comes to
MS, the study published in
Neurology recommended that doctors go through the rigorous criteria guidelines used
to properly diagnose MS. If a patient does not fully fit the criteria,
many doctors may still want them starting on the treatment regime; the
study suggests waiting until they satisfy the criteria to ensure that
they are accurately diagnosed. In addition, the study suggested to be
aware that there may be a tendency to misread the magnetic resonance imaging
(MRI) to suggest MS, when in fact any sort of abnormalities caught on
the MRI may be representative of another disorder.
Charles County, MD Personal Injury Lawyers that Fight for You
If you or a loved one was misdiagnosed as having MS and your quality of
life has diminished as a result of taking MS medication, it is important
to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. Please call the
Law Office of Robert R. Castro at (301) 804-2312 for a confidential consultation.