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Multiple Sclerosis Misdiagnosis is Occurring More and More Regularly

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 Maryland personal injury attorney. Please call the Law Office of Robert R. Castro at (301) 804-2312 for a confidential consultation.