Multiple Sclerosis Rates Up 50%
Review Tracking Neurological Disorders Shows 1 in 1,000 Americans Have Multiple Sclerosis
WebMD News Archive
Trends in Conditions
Besides the rise in MS prevalence, the researchers also note a
"possible" increase in nonfatal strokestrokeand a "substantial"
rise in Alzheimer's diseaseAlzheimer's disease, compared with the 1982
Those trends are likely due to America's agingaging population and better
diagnosis, according to the review.
Traumatic brain injuries are down by about half since the 1982 review.
"It is likely that this reflects more restrictive hospital admission
criteria, although improvements in motor vehicle safety may also
contribute," write Hirtz and colleagues.
They note no major changes in rates of cerebral palsy, epilepsyepilepsy,
migraine, ALSALS, or Parkinson's diseaseParkinson's disease.
Previous estimates weren't available for autism spectrum disorders or
Past data were "too sparse" to track trends in spinal cord injury,
the researchers say.
Concerns Over MS Estimates
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society is voicing concern that the review
underestimates multiple sclerosis in the U.S.
In a news release, the society says it "applauds the efforts of the NIH
to document the importance of neurological disorders."
However, there is "considerable uncertainty about the exact number of
people in the U.S. who have MS," says the society.
The society agrees with the reviewers that better studies are needed to
improve the accuracy of MS estimates.