Optimizing outcomes in multiple sclerosis: consensus guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of multiple sclerosis in Latin America

Carrá, A.; Macías-Islas, M.Ángel.; Gabbai, A.Alan.; Correale, J.; Bolaña, C.; Sotelo, E.Duriez.; Bonitto, J.García.; Vergara-Edwards, F.; Vizcarra-Escobar, D.

Therapeutic Advances in Neurological Disorders 4(6): 349-360


ISSN/ISBN: 1756-2856
PMID: 22164189
DOI: 10.1177/1756285611423560
Accession: 054777099

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The prevalence of multiple sclerosis (MS) in Latin America varies across different studies but an intermediate risk and increased frequency of the disease have been reported in recent years. The circumstances of Latin American countries are different from those of Europe and North America, both in terms of differential diagnoses and disease management. An online survey on MS was sent to 855 neurologists in nine Latin American countries. A panel of nine experts in MS analyzed the results. Diagnostic and therapeutic recommendations were outlined with special emphasis on the specific needs and circumstances of Latin America. The experts proposed guidelines for MS diagnosis, treatment, and follow up, highlighting the importance of considering endemic infectious diseases in the differential diagnoses of MS, the identification of patients at high risk of developing MS in order to maximize therapeutic opportunities, early treatment initiation, and cost-effective control of treatment efficacy, as well as global assessment of disability. The experts recommended that healthcare systems allocate a longer consultation time for patients with MS, which must be conducted by neurologists trained in the management of the disease. All drugs currently approved must be available in all Latin American countries and must be covered by healthcare plans. The expert panel supported the creation of a permanent forum to discuss future clinical and therapeutic recommendations that may be useful in Latin American countries.