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How to improve MS diagnosis

Sep 8, 2016 | Failure to Diagnose

A group of 24 researchers studied 110 patients who were misdiagnosed with multiple sclerosis to better understand the reasons why. Of those in the study, 33 percent went 10 years or longer without a diagnosis, and 72 percent took medication for a condition that they didn’t have. This is problematic because some MS medications can have serious side effects, including brain infections, on patients in New York and around the country.

Multiple sclerosis is a condition that impacts the body’s central nervous system. It is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors, but there is no test for the condition nor is there a biomarker that can be used to identify it. Many of those who are diagnosed with the disease may actually be suffering from fibromyalgia or a migraine either by itself or in conjunction with other conditions. It is also thought that several rare diseases also mimic the symptoms of MS.

Researchers say that strict adherence to diagnostic criteria can play a role in a successful diagnosis. However, that assumes that information is being interpreted correctly. For instance, misinterpreting the results of an MRI can make it harder to properly diagnose a patient. According to the study’s findings, both specialists as well as non-specialists were liable to make mistakes related to an MS diagnosis.

A doctor’s misdiagnosis can result in a worsened medical condition and other types of harm to a patient. Those who have been affected in such a manner may want to meet with a medical malpractice attorney to see what recourse they may have. The attorney will consult with medical experts and review the patient’s records in order to determine whether there was a failure by the health care practitioner to exhibit the required standard of care.