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International panel revises 'McDonald Criteria' for diagnosing multiple sclerosis
Date:3/9/2011

etermine the diagnosis. Generally the process of diagnosis involves obtaining evidence from patient history, clinical examination, a variety of laboratory tests, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, all intended to rule out other possible causes of disease and to gather data consistent with a diagnosis of MS.

The newly revised 2010 McDonald Criteria incorporate updated information on using MRI as a tool for speeding diagnosis.

The McDonald Criteria for Diagnosis of MS were originally published in 2001. They were named for the chair of the original panel, the late neurologist W. Ian McDonald, MB, ChB, PhD. Dr. Polman chaired the panels responsible for the 2005 and 2010 revisions. The previous versions have been the subject of extensive debate and testing. A significant body of new information about the utility of the Criteria has been published. The International Panel reconvened in May 2010 in Dublin to consider these new data and to develop consensus for revising and updating the McDonald Criteria, with an eye toward speeding and easing diagnosis without compromising accuracy.

Diagnosis of MS -- The Basics Still Apply: The diagnosis of MS is a partly subjective process, and is best made by an expert who is familiar with the disease and who can interpret imaging and laboratory evidence that can supplement the clinical diagnostic process. The requirement remains that there must be no better explanation than MS for the clinical and laboratory findings other possible diagnoses must be considered and excluded. (Go to this link for free access to published guidelines on the differential diagnosis of MS (Multiple Sclerosis 2008 14;9:1157-1174 http://msj.sagepub.com/content/14/9/1157.abstract)

The key to an MS diagnosis has been, and remains, the objective demonstration of dissemination of typical disease signs and symptoms in time and space. The 2010 revisions
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Contact: Arney Rosenblat
arney.rosenblat@nmss.org
212-476-0436
National Multiple Sclerosis Society
Source:Eurekalert

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