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Dr Andrew Solomon Explains Prevalent Difficulties in Accurately Diagnosing MS

MS is a difficult disease to diagnose as it can present in many different ways and lacks an attributable biomarker to assess, said Andrew Solomon, MD, associate professor of neurological sciences and division chief of multiple sclerosis at Larner College of Medicine, The University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont.


MS is a difficult disease to diagnose as it can present in many different ways and lacks an attributable biomarker to assess, said Andrew Solomon, MD, associate professor of neurological sciences and division chief of multiple sclerosis at Larner College of Medicine, The University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont.

Transcript

What are some of the challenges that exist in accurately diagnosing MS?

MS is a challenging disorder to diagnose because it can present in so many different ways. So, there's kind of a broad variety of symptoms people might have from MS because it can affect anywhere in the nervous system. So, at times it can be quite challenging to diagnose. There's also many disorders that can mimic MS in their clinical manifestations, their symptoms, as well as, their MRI appearance. So, it can be hard at times.

The other difficulty is that we don't have a highly sensitive or specific test for MS–so we don't have a biomarker. So, right now, our diagnostic criteria, which works pretty well, is entirely clinical–is based on clinical decision making by doctors at each step along the way. So, sometimes that can be hard as well, because we don't have a blood test or a particular test that gives us high specificity for MS.

 
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