Managing multiple sclerosis: A partnership between professional practitioners and patients

  • Ian Robinson
Part of the Therapy in Practice Series book series (TPS, volume 18)


Multiple sclerosis as a disease is a medical puzzle. Its aetiology is unknown, it is problematic to diagnose at an early stage, difficult to offer sound and accurate prognoses for individuals, and there is no cure. If affects more women than men, usually with onset in early adulthood, and is distinguished epidemiologically by a distinct geographical distribution with a concentration of cases in the temperate latitudes of the world (Acheson, 1985). As a very broad generalization, it appears that the prevalence rate is approximately six in 10 000 people in these temperate latitudes — Europe, N. America, Japan and Australasia (Gonzalez-Scarano, Spielman and Nathanson, 1986) — although there are smaller areas of far higher prevalence (Kurtzke and Hyllested, 1979; Poskanzer et al., 1980). Sensory and functional systems are affected in varying degrees over an unpredictable course in a condition which is often characterized by relapses and remissions (Matthews, 1985a). Other cases show a slow progression over many years (Compston, 1987). In these cases a normal life span is not substantially jeopardized, although increasingly severe disability may occur. In a small number of cases a more rapid course is evident, leading to death more quickly after onset (Carter, Sciarra and Merritt, 1950).


Multiple Sclerosis Multiple Sclerosis Patient Professional Role Professional Staff Professional Expertise 
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© Lorraine De Souza 1990

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  • Ian Robinson

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