Early treatment of multiple sclerosis symptoms extends diagnosis time

Early treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms extends diagnosis timeBeginning multiple sclerosis (MS) treatment as soon as the early symptoms appear may extend the time until a definitive diagnosis or a relapse. The study found that those who received early treatment intervention were one-third less likely to be diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, compared to patients with delayed treatment. Early symptoms include numbness and vision or balance problems.

Those in the early treatment group also experienced 19 percent lower annual relapse rate.


Dr. Ludwig Kappos, the study author, said, “The surprise is that after 11 years, we were still able to detect a difference favoring early treatment, although the delay in starting treatment in the delayed treatment group was only 1.5 years on average. The most astonishing observation was that relapse rates remained lower in most of the years after both groups had equal access to treatment.”

Roughly 85 percent of those who experience early multiple sclerosis symptoms will go on to be diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
The study involved 167 patients who received early treatment and 111 who received delayed treatment. Those who received early treatment were 33 percent less likely to be diagnosed with MS and also went on longer periods without a relapse, compared to those in the delayed treatment group.

The findings suggest that treatment for multiple sclerosis should begin as soon as the symptoms become present.

Also, read Bel Marra Health’s article: Multiple sclerosis patients may improve cognition with regular walking, cycling, and yoga: Study


Author Bio

Emily Lunardo studied medical sociology at York University with a strong focus on the social determinants of health and mental illness. She is a registered Zumba instructor, as well as a Canfit Pro trainer, who teaches fitness classes on a weekly basis. Emily practices healthy habits in her own life as well as helps others with their own personal health goals. Emily joined Bel Marra Health as a health writer in 2013.