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Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system (CNS) and the most common cause of disability amongst young adults. The majority of patients present with a relapsing-remitting illness, characterized by discrete episodes of focal neurological deficit with temporal and anatomical dispersion in the CNS. The introduction of new diagnostic criteria integrating magnetic resonance imaging has enabled earlier diagnosis and has helped to guide earlier intervention in this chronic disease. Although the underlying cause of MS still remains unknown, recent advances in molecular immunology have brought about a new wave of immunotherapies that can stop relapses and hopefully may delay progression. Given the emergence of more effective therapies, the recognition of relapses and the symptom management of ongoing complications are an important role for all clinicians who encounter patients with MS. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original publication




Journal article


Medicine (United Kingdom)

Publication Date





523 - 528