Multiple sclerosis (MS) is the most common disabling neurologic disease of young people affecting between 350 and 450,000 individuals in the United States. Substantial advances have been made in the diagnostic assessment and treatment interventions over the last 10 years such that we are now able effectively to treat both the disease process and the associated symptomatic complaints associated with MS. Most patients consult with their primary care physician at the time when the first clinical manifestations of MS emerge. These physicians play a central role in the early identification and treatment of patients with MS. This article emphasizes the expanding diagnostic and therapeutic capabilities evolving for the MS patient and the crucial role played by primary care physicians in collaboration with neurologists in the coordination of the initial diagnostic and treatment plan.
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