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 A step closer to cancer precision medicine
15.11.2019 | University of Helsinki

nachricht Can 'smart toilets' be the next health data wellspring?
14.11.2019 | Morgridge Institute for Research

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: New opportunities in additive manufacturing presented

Fraunhofer IFAM Dresden demonstrates manufacturing of copper components

The Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM in Dresden has succeeded in using Selective Electron Beam Melting (SEBM) to...

Im Focus: New Pitt research finds carbon nanotubes show a love/hate relationship with water

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are valuable for a wide variety of applications. Made of graphene sheets rolled into tubes 10,000 times smaller than a human hair, CNTs have an exceptional strength-to-mass ratio and excellent thermal and electrical properties. These features make them ideal for a range of applications, including supercapacitors, interconnects, adhesives, particle trapping and structural color.

New research reveals even more potential for CNTs: as a coating, they can both repel and hold water in place, a useful property for applications like printing,...

Im Focus: Magnets for the second dimension

If you've ever tried to put several really strong, small cube magnets right next to each other on a magnetic board, you'll know that you just can't do it. What happens is that the magnets always arrange themselves in a column sticking out vertically from the magnetic board. Moreover, it's almost impossible to join several rows of these magnets together to form a flat surface. That's because magnets are dipolar. Equal poles repel each other, with the north pole of one magnet always attaching itself to the south pole of another and vice versa. This explains why they form a column with all the magnets aligned the same way.

Now, scientists at ETH Zurich have managed to create magnetic building blocks in the shape of cubes that - for the first time ever - can be joined together to...

Im Focus: A new quantum data classification protocol brings us nearer to a future 'quantum internet'

The algorithm represents a first step in the automated learning of quantum information networks

Quantum-based communication and computation technologies promise unprecedented applications, such as unconditionally secure communications, ultra-precise...

Im Focus: Distorted Atoms

In two experiments performed at the free-electron laser FLASH in Hamburg a cooperation led by physicists from the Heidelberg Max Planck Institute for Nuclear physics (MPIK) demonstrated strongly-driven nonlinear interaction of ultrashort extreme-ultraviolet (XUV) laser pulses with atoms and ions. The powerful excitation of an electron pair in helium was found to compete with the ultrafast decay, which temporarily may even lead to population inversion. Resonant transitions in doubly charged neon ions were shifted in energy, and observed by XUV-XUV pump-probe transient absorption spectroscopy.

An international team led by physicists from the MPIK reports on new results for efficient two-electron excitations in helium driven by strong and ultrashort...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

First International Conference on Agrophotovoltaics in August 2020

15.11.2019 | Event News

Laser Symposium on Electromobility in Aachen: trends for the mobility revolution

15.11.2019 | Event News

High entropy alloys for hot turbines and tireless metal-forming presses

05.11.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

First International Conference on Agrophotovoltaics in August 2020

15.11.2019 | Event News

Laser Symposium on Electromobility in Aachen: trends for the mobility revolution

15.11.2019 | Event News

Observing changes in the chirality of molecules in real time

15.11.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>