Multiple Sclerosis
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Lectures:   Prognosis

It is estimated that for all MS patients the chance of walking unaided in 15 years following disease onset is 50%. 1/2 of the patients will need assistance in walking or will be wheelchair bound; another 1/2 of the patients will be able to ambulate unaided.

Frequency of death by suicide was found to be 7.5 times higher among patients with MS compared to the general population. It was found that in suicidal patients, suicide rate did not correlate with disability.

The average longevity in the population of patients with MS is very difficult to estimate because it varies widely from patient to patient. Average life span of 25 to 35 years after the diagnosis of MS is made are often stated. Some of the most common causes of death in MS patients are secondary complications resulting from immobility, chronic urinary tract infections, compromised swallowing and breathing. Some of the complications in this category are chronic bed sores, urogenital sepsis, and aspiration or bacterial pneumonia.

Factors that influence prognosis:
Favorable Unfavorable
Females   Males
Low rate of relapses per year   High rate of relapses per year
Complete recovery from the first attack   Incomplete recovery from the first attack
Long interval between first and second attack   Short interval between first and second attack
Symptoms predominantly from afferent systems (i.e.,. sensory symptoms)   Symptoms predominantly from efferent systems (i.e.,. symptoms of motor tract involvement)
Younger age of onset   Older age of onset
Low disability at 2 to 5 years from the disease onset   Significant disability at 2 to 5 years from the onset acute onset
Later cerebellar involvement   Early cerebellar involvement
Involvement of only one CNS system at the time of onset   Involvement of more than one CNS system at the time of onset