Addressing Misdiagnosis and Delayed Diagnosis in Multiple Sclerosis: Andrew Solomon, MD


The associate professor of neurological sciences at the University of Vermont in Burlington discussed the persistent issue of delayed and misdiagnoses among patients with multiple sclerosis, highlighting the need to improve accurate diagnosis. [WATCH TIME: 3 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 3 minutes

“I think when I entered this field, it felt like we had figured out how to diagnose MS as a done deal. Everybody was very focused on developing effective therapies to help prevent patients with MS from becoming disabled, but I think what a lot of our recent data has shown is that there's still a lot of challenges in making the right diagnosis and making it early.”

In the field of multiple sclerosis, a common issue among patients is delayed and misdiagnosis of the condition. According to research, there are many factors that contribute to this issue including overlooking atypical features, accepting pre-established diagnoses from previous providers, patient resistance to new diagnoses, and neurologists' unwillingness to admit errors or uncertainty.1 Thus, there is work needed to prevent misdiagnosis with research that recommends clinicians look out for clinical findings or a diagnostic test that be classified for the disease.

Andrew Solomon, MD, gave a talk on the misdiagnosis of MS as part of the John F. Kurtzke Memorial Lecture presented at the 2023 Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC) Annual Meeting, held May 31 to June 3, in Aurora, Colorado. In his presentation, Solomon, associate professor of neurological sciences and chief of the Multiple Sclerosis Division at the University of Vermont in Burlington, discussed the reasons why MS is often misdiagnosed in clinical practice, despite the recent advancement of diagnostic tools, and ways to improve the accuracy of MS diagnosis.2

Solomon sat down in an interview with NeurologyLive® at the meeting to talk about the issue of misdiagnosis, how it impacts patients with MS, and the potential long-term consequences. He also spoke about the multifaceted barriers to early MS diagnosis, ranging from healthcare system limitations to socioeconomic factors. In addition, Solomon spoke about the different ways that the healthcare industry can address the challenge of diagnostic delay, as well as why it is essential to focus on both accurate MS diagnosis and improved care for those with different conditions.

Click here for more coverage of CMSC 2023.

1. Gaitán MI, Correale J. Multiple Sclerosis Misdiagnosis: A Persistent Problem to Solve. Front Neurol. 2019;10:466. Published 2019 May 7. doi:10.3389/fneur.2019.00466
2. Solomon A. MS Diagnosis and Misdiagnosis: Challenges and Progress. Presented at: 2023 CMSC Annual Meeting; May 31-June 3; Aurora, CO. LEC1.
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