Researchers Identify Symptoms That Often Precede MS Diagnoses


In the five years prior to developing clinical signs and symptoms leading to a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS), people are four times more likely to be treated for neurological problems like pain or sleep disorders and 50 percent more likely to see a psychiatrist, according to a study conducted at the University of British Columbia.

The researchers examined the health records of 14,000 people with multiple sclerosis from British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Nova Scotia between 1984 and 2014, comparing them to the health records of 67,000 people without MS. They found that:

  • Fibromyalgia (a condition that causes widespread musculoskeletal pain) was more than three times as common in people later diagnosed with MS.
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) was almost twice as common.
  • Rates of migraine and mood and anxiety disorders were also markedly higher.

This research suggests that multiple sclerosis may have a prodrome – that is, a group of early symptoms not considered “classic” manifestations of the disease. Diagnosing and treating MS earlier could help slow or prevent the neurological damage caused by the disease, according to the Canadian researchers.

Sourced from: The University of British Columbia