Irate

by Tari Scheiwe
(Crescent City, IL USA)

I have had MS for over 12 years and accept it. A couple of weeks ago my brother (45) had what we thought was his second stress stroke. He has been undergoing tests to determine whether he has MS. I have also heard 2 or 3 other people who were thought to have MS. Has MS become the new first diagnosis?




REPLY:

Hi Tari,
I can see why you would be upset by this trend of doctors diagnosing people quickly with MS. Hopefully it isn't something that is being done by doctors wishing to get people on treatments that they don't really need.

One of the reasons why it may seem that more people are being diagnosed around you, is that there actually may be more people developing MS. According to the National MS Society, about 200 people are diagnosed every week - and as of now there are about 400,000 people diagnosed in the US.

This can be disheartening to those who have MS and their families. Another possible reason is that family members have a slightly higher percentage rate of developing MS than the regular population. So maybe the fact that they are testing your brother for MS is because they know the possibility is there because of your diagnosis and they want to diagnosis or eliminate it earlier rather than later.

This geographical area (the North Eastern US), and the areas closely surrounding it, have a higher percentage of people with multiple sclerosis as well. That may be one of the reasons you are seeing more people around you with the condition.

It could be purely coincidental, or just you noticing more people developing MS because you have it, I'm not sure which. Anyway, I hope this helps to answer your question. If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to ask.
Take care,
Akrista



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