Shocking results – 81% misdiagnosed by GP, up to 3 years till right diagnosis was found, up to 4 GP visits before referred to a neurologist – The MS Society conducted a survey of over 1,500 people with MS:
81% of patients misdiagnosed by GP
Most common misdiagnoses: Trapped nerve (28%), Depression or anxiety or stress (14%), Stroke (11%)
Waiting time after first GP visit till right diagnosis was found
20% of the people waited between 1 and 3 years till the right diagnosis was found.
GP visits before referred to a neurologist
25% of the people visited the GP at least 4 times before the GP referred to a neurologist
Michelle Mitchell, CEO at the MS Society: “It’s important for GPs to recognise the warning signs and refer people promptly to a consultant neurologist who can then make an accurate diagnosis.”
Prof. Dr. med Krieger, Senior Consultant in Neurology at the GNC: “For a GP it can be very difficult to diagnose early MS. MS can present itself in many different ways. Some early symptoms can easily be mistaken for other, more common conditions. Some examples: Visual problems, pain behind the eye, Tingling, Numbness, Pain, Muscle weakness or stiffness, Fatigue.
Early diagnosis is crucial as the long-term prognosis is influenced by it. Moreover it is an additional burden for the patients to be misdiagnosed or undiagnosed over years. Patients are suffering mentally and physically. We have to raise awareness and end this needless suffering.”
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