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The aetiology of acute neurological decline in multiple sclerosis: Experience from an open-access clinic

Tallantyre, Emma ORCID:, Causon, E. G., Harding, Katharine, Pickersgill, T. P. and Robertson, Neil ORCID: 2015. The aetiology of acute neurological decline in multiple sclerosis: Experience from an open-access clinic. Multiple Sclerosis Journal 21 (1) , pp. 67-75. 10.1177/1352458514538333

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BACKGROUND: Multiple sclerosis (MS) relapses contribute to disability and influence treatment decisions. Many centres now provide open access to specialist services for patients with new symptoms. However, there is scarce literature on the spectrum of presentations encountered in this setting. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this paper is to characterise presentations to an open, rapid-access MS relapse clinic and the impact on disease management. METHODS: A retrospective review of outpatient episodes over a three-year period was conducted. Demographic and service data, symptoms, disability, diagnosis and management were recorded according to a standardised proforma. RESULTS: A total of 371 attendances were analysed. A new MS relapse was diagnosed in 216 (58%) episodes, of which 56 (26%) patients had an additional diagnosis which had also contributed to their presentation. Of 266 reports of non-relapse-related symptoms, 73 were unrelated to MS. Treatment interventions were made in almost all relapsing patients and in 70% of patients presenting with acute, non-relapse-related symptoms of MS. Changes to disease-modifying therapies were considered in 28% of consultations. CONCLUSION: Diagnosing MS relapses is crucial for disease management and yet remains challenging. Clinicians should be aware of differential diagnoses and confounding factors. The high incidence of therapeutic interventions observed suggests that rapid-access clinics represent an effective platform for responsive disease management.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 1352-4585
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2022 12:42

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