BOSTON (CBS) — Some sobering news for people diagnosed with multiple sclerosis: researchers at Cedars Sinai, UCLA, and the University of Vermont found that nearly one-in-five people diagnosed with MS do not actually have it.

Diagnosing MS can be challenging because the symptoms and even the finding on MRI can mimic other conditions.

After studying 241 cases, researchers found that almost 18 percent of people referred to two Los Angeles MS centers didn’t actually meet the criteria for MS and in fact, had something else…most commonly migraine but also spine problems or nerve damage.

Wrongly diagnosed patients spent an average of four years being treated for MS which means they could have suffered side effects from unnecessary medications and a delay in treatment for their actual condition.

Researchers hope that new biomarkers and improved imaging will help prevent misdiagnosis in the future.

Dr. Mallika Marshall

Comments (2)
  1. Dolores Claesson says:

    Many of the people misdiagnosed with MS have tick borne pathogens.

  2. Lynne “Lynnie” Heal says:

    Many of us are denied tests for this sadly .

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