Common Medical Malpractice: Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Misdiagnosis

Misdiagnosis is the number one medical malpractice and multiple sclerosis (MS) is one disease that is commonly misdiagnosed. A recent UK study suggests that as many as four in five MS patients are wrongly diagnosed prior to discovering the correct issue. According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, diagnosis of MS is complicated and involves a detailed medical history analysis, a neurological exam, MRI, EP, and spinal fluid analysis. This complex neurological condition is accompanied by numerous symptoms that may also occur with many other illnesses. The similar symptoms make diagnosing the condition correctly sometimes difficult and confusing for doctors involved.   Unfortunately, a wrong diagnosis leads to the wrong treatment plan and health complications from the real problem remaining untreated. Becoming familiar with the conditions that present similar symptoms can help doctors and patients identify the correct problem sooner and prevent misdiagnosis.  

Multiple Sclerosis Common Misdiagnosis 1: Autoimmune Disease

  Multiple Sclerosis is commonly mistaken for an autoimmune disease because of like symptoms. Some conditions of this type and the problems that accompany them include:  

  • -Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM) is the inflammation of the brain and spinal cord that may cause headaches, seizures, vomiting, weight loss, and loss of muscular function.
  • -Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, also known as lupus, is the inflammation of the skin, joints, blood, and kidneys that may lead to fatigue, seizures, hair loss, anemia, skin rashes, and sensitivity to light.
  • -Sjögren’s syndrome is a condition in which white blood cells attack moisture producing glands that causes dry eyes, dry mouth, fatigue, joint pain, and numbness.
  • -Myasthenia Gravis (MG) is an interruption of the nerve signals that may result in muscle weakness, droopy eyelids, and impaired eye coordination.
  • -Sarcoidosis is a disease that leads to dry mouth, skin rash, abnormal vision, arthritis, and respiratory problems.

  Some tests that a healthcare professional may run to rule out an autoimmune disease include an antinuclear antibody (ANA) test (beware of a false negative), a nerve conduction velocity test, a blood test for acetylcholine receptor serum antibodies, and/or a chest x-ray.  

Multiple Sclerosis Common Misdiagnosis 2: Infectious Disease

  Infectious diseases are another type of condition that is commonly confused with multiple sclerosis.  

  • -Lyme disease is caused by a tick bite and may be accompanied by stiff neck, fatigue, tingling, numbness of arms and legs, and facial palsy.
  • -Human T-cell lymphotrophic virus-1 (HTLV1) is a condition classified by progressive spinal cord dysfunction that may cause spasticity, partial paralysis, incontinence, and impotence.
  • -Neurosyphilis may lead to cognitive difficulties.

  Healthcare professionals may use blood tests, elevated antibody tests, and physical examination to rule out infectious diseases.  

Multiple Sclerosis Common Misdiagnosis 3: Vascular Disease

  Vascular diseases also present symptoms similar to those of multiple sclerosis.  

  • -A stroke may cause impaired vision, difficulty walking, difficulty controlling muscles, dizziness, headache, trouble speaking, nausea, or fever.
  • -Central nervous system Angina disrupts the blood vessels in the brain.
  • -Dural Arteriovenous Fistulas affects the brain’s blood vessels.
  • -Fibromyalgia causes overall pain and fatigue.
  • -Extreme cases of vitamin B12 deficiency may lead to demyelination, numbness, tingling of arms and legs, fatigue, weakness, and cognitive problems.


New Jersey Legal Help for MS Misdiagnosis Victims

  legal aid new jerseyThe correct and early diagnosis of multiple sclerosis can help patients to adequately manage the disease with minimal pain and suffering. Misdiagnosis, on the other hand, can result in further health complications and a worsening of symptoms. The wrong treatment can lead to additional health problems later on from unnecessary procedures and medication. The symptoms that classify multiple sclerosis are not unique and appear along with a range of other conditions and diseases. If you have suffered because of a misdiagnosis, you may be eligible to file a medical malpractice or medical negligence lawsuit.   An experienced medical malpractice attorney in the state of New Jersey can help you determine your best legal options. If you need a local lawyer, contact The Hayes Firm today. We are a free lawyer finding service specializing in medical malpractice cases in New Jersey. After you send us an email or give us a call and describe your situation, we will review the details as soon as possible. Then we will evaluate your case and connect you with a successful medical malpractice attorney near you if further legal action is realistic, completely free of charge.

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