Semin Neurol 1998; 18(3): 301-307
DOI: 10.1055/s-2008-1040881
© 1998 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc.

The Natural History of Multiple Sclerosis: Update 1998

Brian G. Weinshenker
  • Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic/Mayo Foundation, Rochester, Minnesota
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
19 March 2008 (online)


The definition of multiple sclerosis (MS) is problematic. MS is best appreciated as a series of syndromes with unique but overlapping clinical and pathological features. Each has a distinct prognosis. Prototypic MS is a relapsing-remitting disease that culminates in a secondarily progressive course in most patients. Several clinical and demographic features permit stratification of patients according to risk of advanced permanent disability. It will be critical to determine if currently available “long-term treatments” truly have an impact on the long-term course of MS.