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Why MS cases are often misdiagnosed

Pennsylvania residents who are suffering from MS may be aware of how difficult it can be to get a proper diagnosis for the disease. According to a recent study, the problem may be due to misinterpretation or misapplication of the MS diagnostic criteria.

A total of 24 neurologists from several universities across the nation and 110 wrongly diagnosed patients were involved in the study, which was published on Aug. 31 in the journal Neurology. The report found that 72 percent of the patients ended up taking medication for a disease that they did not have. Approximately 33 percent remained misdiagnosed for 10 years or longer. One drug that was taken by 13 percent of the patients had a risk of causing a fatal brain infection while many other participants dealt with the inconvenience of daily injections.

Properly diagnosing MS can be difficult because there is no specific biomarker for the disease as the cause can be a combination of genetics and environmental triggers. Further, the nerve damage caused by the disease can result in a variety of different symptoms, some of which are known symptoms for other conditions.

The failure to diagnose MS and other diseases can result in unnecessary medical treatment and additional complications. A medical malpractice attorney may show evidence that the person's test results were misinterpreted or that the criteria for diagnosis was misapplied. Depending on the situation, the attorney may help the patient seek compensation for the unnecessary treatment and for any of the complications they might have suffered as a result.

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