Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

AAN Guideline: MRIs help diagnose multiple sclerosis faster

09.09.2003


Using MRI scans can help make the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) more quickly, according to a guideline developed by the American Academy of Neurology. The guideline is published in the September 9 issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.



The point at which MS can be diagnosed has been under debate, according to guideline author Elliot Frohman, MD, PhD, of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas.

"Before, the criteria used to diagnosis people required neurologists to show that disease activity had occurred in the brain over time," said Frohman. "People would have to wait for a diagnosis. Now that we have evidence showing that early treatment can reduce the entire course of the disease, we really needed to ask the question about how early the diagnosis can be made."


To develop the guideline, the researchers evaluated all of the scientific studies on the topic. They determined that in many cases findings on a single MRI of the brain and spinal cord can be a strong indicator of whether someone will develop MS in the future. The guideline addresses cases where a young to middle-aged adult has a single occurrence of a sign or symptom of MS activity and other possible diagnoses have been ruled out.

MS involves inflammation of the brain and spinal cord. This inflammation leads to lesions, or areas of damage, on the brain and spinal cord. The guidelines outline the number and type of these lesions that, if present, are a strong predictor of the future development of clinically definite MS. For example, a patient with three or more lesions in the white matter area of the brain has a greater than 80-percent likelihood of developing MS within the next seven to 10 years.

"This guideline helps us use MRI to telescope into the future to see what’s going to happen with these patients," Frohman said. "The evidence allows us to predict with more certainty who will develop MS, which allows us to begin helpful treatment earlier than in the past."

Evidence shows that early treatment of MS can lessen the disease activity and severity. There is also evidence that, if untreated in the early stages, the disease can accelerate and may even become resistant to treatment, Frohman said.

"With this knowledge and the fact that the current drugs for MS have few downsides except for cost and minor side effects, there’s not much sense in waiting for more disability and more attacks to occur," he said.

The criteria currently used for diagnosis are not sensitive enough to identify many patients who already have MS at the time of their first attack, Frohman said. The current criteria recommend waiting for additional signs of disease activity before making the diagnosis of MS.

"In some ways, that’s like waiting for the other shoe to drop," he said. "If the majority of these patients have MS and waiting could compromise how we can affect the course of the disease, then we need to go ahead and treat them."

The guideline notes that neurologists must consider MRI information in the context of each patient’s specific situation.



The American Academy of Neurology, an association of more than 18,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to improving patient care through education and research. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, autism and multiple sclerosis.

For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visit its web site at http://www.aan.com.

Marilee Reu | AAN
Further information:
http://www.aan.com

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Norovirus evades immune system by hiding out in rare gut cells
12.10.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

nachricht Flexible sensors can detect movement in GI tract
11.10.2017 | Massachusetts Institute of Technology

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

Im Focus: New nanomaterial can extract hydrogen fuel from seawater

Hybrid material converts more sunlight and can weather seawater's harsh conditions

It's possible to produce hydrogen to power fuel cells by extracting the gas from seawater, but the electricity required to do it makes the process costly. UCF...

Im Focus: Small collisions make big impact on Mercury's thin atmosphere

Mercury, our smallest planetary neighbor, has very little to call an atmosphere, but it does have a strange weather pattern: morning micro-meteor showers.

Recent modeling along with previously published results from NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft -- short for Mercury Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry and...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

Conference Week RRR2017 on Renewable Resources from Wet and Rewetted Peatlands

28.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A single photon reveals quantum entanglement of 16 million atoms

16.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

The melting ice makes the sea around Greenland less saline

16.10.2017 | Earth Sciences

On the generation of solar spicules and Alfvenic waves

16.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>