Revised McDonald Criteria expected to speed up diagnosis and reduce misdiagnosis of MS

The panel - co-chaired by Jeffrey Cohen, MD from the Cleveland Clinic and Alan Thompson, MD from UCL – supported by new research, proposed analysing specific bands of immunoglobulins (or oligoclonal bands) in the spinal fluid to detect inflammation in the Central Nervous System and lesion dissemination.

Additionally, the panel suggested that asymptomatic and symptomatic MRI lesions – except in the optic nerve – should be considered when evaluating dissemination in space or time, but lesions in the cortex and juxtacortical areas can help discriminate dissemination in space.

More studies, particularly regarding optic nerve involvement, validation in diverse populations, and incorporation of advanced imaging, neurophysiological and body fluid markers are needed to refine and validate the criteria.

Commenting on the review, Bruce Bebo, Vice President of Research at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, said:

“Efforts like the work of this international panel illustrate the National MS Society’s role as a convening force to push forward progress that not only improves clinical care, but also identifies research gaps and opportunities. The paper highlights the need for research to identify additional biological markers of MS and its subtypes. This gap impedes progress on several fronts, making it a critical target for the global MS research community"

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