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Charity wants faster MS diagnoses

Charity wants faster MS diagnoses
Photo: Charity wants faster MS diagnoses
The MS Society says about two-fifths of sufferers wait for a year or more before they are correctly diagnosed with the disabling neurological condition.

Four in five people with multiple sclerosis are misdiagnosed, with one in four told they are simply suffering a trapped nerve, a charity has warned.

The MS Society says about two-fifths (39 per cent) are left waiting a year or more before they are diagnosed.

While 81 per cent of sufferers it questioned had been misdiagnosed, 28 per cent were told they had a trapped nerve, 14 per cent had their symptoms explained as depression, anxiety or stress while around one in 10 (11 per cent) was informed they had suffered a stroke.

One in four visited their GP more than four times before they were referred to a neurologist for further examination.
The charity said although MS can be difficult to diagnose, delays such as these can be harmful as they prevent people taking necessary steps to manage their condition effectively.

There is no cure for MS, which affects nerves in the brain and spinal cord, causing problems with muscle movement, balance and vision.

It is the most common disabling neurological condition in young adults, with symptoms usually starting in the 20s and 30s, yet awareness remains low.

Its causes are complex and not completely understood, but typical early symptoms include numbness, tingling, limb weakness, lack of co-ordination, loss of sight, fatigue and bladder and bowel problems.

The survey, to mark World MS Day, questioned 1,515 people.

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