Prognostic Factors in Multiple Sclerosis

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Prognostic factors to determine the patient's likelihood of developing MS are important for several reasons. Prognostic factors are important to the patient who wants to be informed about his/her prospects, to the clinician who needs to individuate the patients who deserve immune treatments, and to the researcher who needs to improve the design and the analysis of the therapeutic trials. In addition, with the development of new immune therapies, whose early use is strongly encouraged, it is crucial to dispose of reliable clinical predictors to identify the patients who are candidates for early or aggressive therapies. Several studies have indicated that a poor prognosis is related to male gender; a late age at onset; motor, cerebellar, and sphincter involvement at onset; a progressive course at onset; a short inter-attack interval; a high number of early attacks; and a relevant early residual disability. Paraclinical support for MS prognosis is given by imaging techniques, cerebrospinal fluid analysis, and evoked potential examinations. The most sensitive paraclinical test to predict conversion from suspected demyelinating disease to definite MS is MRI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)423-447
Number of pages25
JournalInternational Review of Neurobiology
Publication statusPublished - 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Physiology


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