Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports

, Volume 12, Issue 5, pp 601–609 | Cite as

Benign Multiple Sclerosis: Does it exist?

  • Jorge CorrealeEmail author
  • María C. Ysrraelit
  • Marcela P. Fiol
Demyelinating Disorders (DN Bourdette and V Yadav, Section Editors)


Although the definition of benign multiple sclerosis (BMS) remains controversial, it is generally applied to a subgroup of MS patients showing little disease progression, with minimal disability decades after disease onset, and is based mainly on changes in motor function. Recent studies, however, reveal that deterioration of cognitive function, fatigue, pain, and depression also occur in BMS patients, causing negative impact on work and social activities, despite complete preservation of motor function. Using conventional MRI techniques, lesion load observed in BMS is similar to levels in other disease subtypes; however, newer quantitative MRI techniques show less tissue damage, as well as greater repair and compensatory efficiency following MS injury. Currently accepted criteria for BMS diagnosis may cause overestimation of true prevalence, underscoring the need for routine monitoring of nonmotor symptoms and imaging studies. Clearly, the definition of BMS currently applied in clinical practice requires reassessment.


Benign multiple sclerosis Cognitive impairment EDSS MRI Multiple sclerosis Natural history of MS Neuropsychological assessment Prognosis Quality of life 



J. Correale: Merck Serono Argentina Advisory Board, Biogen-Idec LATAm Advisory Board, Novartis Argentina Advisory Board, and speakers’ bureaus (Merck-Serono Argentina, Teva Tuteur Argentina, Biogen-Idec Argentina, Biogen Idec LATAM); M. C Ysrraelit: none; M. P. Fiol: Merck Serono (consultant).


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jorge Correale
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • María C. Ysrraelit
    • 1
  • Marcela P. Fiol
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NeurologyInstitute for Neurological Research Dr. Raúl Carrea, FLENIBuenos AiresArgentina
  2. 2.Raúl Carrea Institute for Neurological Research, FLENIBuenos AiresArgentina

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