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When doctors give an incorrect MS diagnosis

A misdiagnosis can have many negative effects on a patient. One is a patient getting treatment for a condition they don’t actually have. Such unnecessary treatments can be problematic, particularly if they carry risks of severe side effects.

One medical condition that has treatments that can have major side effects is multiple sclerosis. So, avoiding MS misdiagnoses is very important. Unfortunately, this disease has certain aspects that can make it particularly prone to being diagnosed when it isn’t actually there.

For one, its symptoms can be similar to those of other conditions. Also, there currently aren’t objective biomarkers that can be tested for when it comes to this condition. So it could be easy, when proper care isn’t taken, for a doctor to mistake another condition for MS.

What types of conditions are particularly prone to being misidentified as MS? A recent study that looked over some instances of MS misdiagnoses identified five such conditions:

  • Neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder.
  • Psychological conditions.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Migraines.
  • Abnormal MRIs.

So, it is critical for doctors to exercise great care when diagnosing whether or not a given patient has MS.

A lot of different things can contribute to whether or not a doctor was acting properly when they came up with a diagnosis that ended up being incorrect. If negligence was behind such an error, various legal actions may be available for the patient. Skilled attorneys can help patients who were harmed by being misdiagnosed with MS or some other condition with looking into whether their doctor engaged in proper practices when coming up with the diagnosis.

Source: ScienceDaily, “Study on multiple sclerosis misdiagnosis supports improved education of clinicians,” Aug. 31, 2016

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