Ongoing Research in MS Differentiation: Oliver Tobin, MBBCh, BAO, PhD


The associate professor of neurology at Mayo Clinic Rochester discusses technological advancements and research efforts in relation to differential multiple sclerosis.

“From the point of view of differential diagnosis, I think this is a constantly evolving space…small groups of patients are identified that are peeled away from CNS [central nervous system] inflammatory disorders [that are] not otherwise specified—I think that keeps on happening over time.”

Following his virtual presentation at the recent Institutional Perspectives in Neurology: Multiple Sclerosis With Brian Weinshenker, MD, Oliver Tobin, MBBCh, BAO, PhD, spoke with NeurologyLive on developments in the care and treatment of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). He also shared his thoughts on technological innovation within the MS diagnostic sphere, namely with clinical use of the 7-Tesla MRI.

Identifying small case reports and series in neurology journals is one method Tobin utilizes to stay in-the-know in terms of differential diagnosis developments, adding that advancements with technology aid in differentiation, particularly neural antibodies, which he feels will continue to keep pace as newer techniques are developed for identifying unclassified antibodies. Additionally, these case reports, although not large-scale assessments, often lend insight into the identification of CNS disorders that are either currently unspecified or may present similarly to MS.

The use of MRI in patients with MS, which is the topic of recent discussion following the publication of consensus guidelines by the Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Multiple Sclerosis study group; the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers; and the North America Imaging in Multiple Sclerosis MRI Guidelines working group, is another space Tobin sees improving, particularly with the quality of imaging for diagnosis and monitoring over time. 

For more coverage of the Institutional Perspectives in Neurology: Multiple Sclerosis With Brian Weinshenker, MD, click here

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