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ECTRIMS 2023 | Reconsidering MS onset: the significance of the prodrome

Helen Tremlett, PhD, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, underscores the importance of recognizing and understanding the prodromal phase of multiple sclerosis (MS) in relation to identifying its causative factors. Historically overlooked, this early prodromal phase presents signs and symptoms preceding the classic MS onset. With insights into this phase, researchers can better distinguish genuine risk factors from those simply associated with early MS manifestations. Furthermore, recognizing this phase can alleviate diagnostic uncertainty for individuals, facilitating earlier disease management and offering timely disease-modifying therapies. The ultimate long-term aspiration is to precisely identify individuals within this prodromal phase, potentially offering them participation in future neuroprotective drug trials, mirroring current interventions for radiologically isolated syndrome. Nonetheless, while swift diagnosis is pivotal, it’s crucial to exercise caution to avoid overdiagnosis or misdiagnosis. This interview took place at the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) Congress 2023 in Milan, Italy.

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