Multiple Sclerosis Diagnoses and Treatment Difficulties

According to a recent study, patients with multiple sclerosis in Connecticut and the rest of nation have to deal with improper diagnoses as well as ineffective treatments. The nationwide survey, which involved over 5,300 patients and was conducted from Jan. 25, 2017 to March 1, 2017, also found that pain and fatigue are the two symptoms that severely affect the patients’ quality of life.

The survey respondents stated that obtaining an accurate diagnosis of their condition was difficult. Nearly half of those surveyed reported that they had to make over five trips to the hospital or doctor’s office before receiving the correct diagnosis. Those who received incorrect diagnoses of chronic fatigue, depression or fibromyalgia accounted for 42 percent of the survey respondents.

According to a patient advocate, obtaining a correct diagnosis of multiple sclerosis continues to be complicated as many patients are seen by inexperienced doctors. Patients may also fail to mention all of the symptoms because they are unaware that it could be related to multiple sclerosis.

Getting the proper course of treatment can also be difficult as it is a process that involves trial and error. Sixty-five percent of patients surveyed started their treatment within three months of receiving their diagnosis. Multiple sclerosis has many symptoms. The results of the survey show that fatigue is the most common symptom at 87 percent. Sufferers may also experience difficulties with their memory, muscle weakness, pain, depression and vision complications.

Health care professionals who fail to properly diagnose a patient may be held financially liable. An attorney who practices medical malpractice law may file a suit on behalf of a patient whose condition worsened because of a misdiagnosis.