Mild MS may not stay that way

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Feb. 26, 2007

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Nearly half of the people who have multiple sclerosis but few symptoms 10 years after diagnosis will have developed more severe signs of this disease after another decade, according to a study in the Feb. 13 Neurology.

Patients with this type of MS frequently are told that they have the benign form that is unlikely to get much worse, but this classification is controversial.

"We need to be very careful what we tell people and not give them false hope that their symptoms may never get worse," said Ana-Luiza Sayao, MD, lead author and a neurology resident at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.

Researchers analyzed patients included in Canada's British Columbia MS Clinic Database. Of the 169 patients who were classified as benign at year 10 who could be assessed a decade later, 88, or 52%, had a similar level of symptoms. Another 36, or 21%, had declined to the point where they needed a cane. The remaining 45, or 23%, developed the secondary progressive MS.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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