A significant percentage of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients struggle with improper diagnoses and ineffective treatments, a national survey of more than 5,300 patients found.
Another survey finding was that fatigue and pain are two of the symptoms that have serious impacts on patients’ lives.
People with multiple sclerosis said an accurate diagnosis can prove difficult to obtain. Almost 50 percent of respondents reported having to make more than five office or hospital visits before receiving their diagnosis.
Forty-two percent said they were mistakenly diagnosed with other conditions, including depression, migraine disease, fibromyalgia, or chronic fatigue syndrome.
“Getting a proper MS diagnosis continues to be a difficult process. I know many people who end up with inexperienced doctors or even have symptoms they don’t mention because they don’t realize it could be MS-related,” Devin Garlit, a patient advocate, said in a press release.
The survey also found that 65 percent of patients start treatment within three months of their diagnosis.
“Finding the right treatment can be a difficult process that takes a lot of trial and error. You may have side effects with one, the next may not work well, another may not be covered by insurance,” Garlit said.
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