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Multiple sclerosis: diagnosis and the management of acute relapses
  1. S M Leary,
  2. B Porter,
  3. A J Thompson
  1. Rehabilitation Group, Institute of Neurology, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Professor A J Thompson
 Rehabilitation Group, Institute of Neurology, Queen Square, London WC1N 3BG, UK;


Multiple sclerosis is an inflammatory demyelinating disease of the central nervous system that may result in a wide range of neurological symptoms and accumulating disability. Its course is unpredictable resulting in a changing pattern of clinical need. Diagnostic criteria for multiple sclerosis require objective evidence for dissemination in space and time. The diagnostic and management process should follow good practice guidelines with the person at the centre of the process. Appropriate support and information should be available from the time of diagnosis. Continuing education is key in enabling the person to actively participate in their management. In the event of an acute relapse the person should have direct access to the most appropriate local service. Provided medical causes have been excluded, corticosteroid treatment to hasten the recovery from the relapse should be considered. Management of an acute relapse should be comprehensive addressing any medical, functional, or psychosocial sequelae.

  • multiple sclerosis
  • diagnosis
  • relapse
  • management

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  • Funding: none.

  • Competing interests: none declared.