The German Multiple Sclerosis Society (Deutschen Multiple Sklerose Gesellschaft, Bundesverband e.V.) has highlighted the need for earlier diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) across Germany. The picture varies by region, but in some parts of the country it takes more than 2 years from someone experiencing first symptoms to receiving a clear diagnosis of MS. Your chances of an early appointment with an MS specialist (and likelihood of early diagnosis) may be greater if you live in Berlin, which has about 11 neurologists per 100,000 inhabitants, than in regions with six or seven neurologists per 100,000 inhabitants.
According to latest figures from German health insurance providers, there are more than 240,000 people with MS in Germany. Data collected in the German MS registry provide further detailed information about trends in prevalence, explained Professor Dr Uwe Zettl (University of Rostock); such data help to increase understanding about factors such as age of onset and the most common early symptoms of MS.
Raising awareness among doctors and the general public that ‘Time is Brain’ is now a major focus of the organization, stated Dr med Dieter Pöhlau (Board Member of DMSG and neurologist at Kamillus Clinic, Asbach). Knowing what signs and symptoms to look out for is crucial to help with early detection of the disease.
This current focus of DMSG, that was presented at a press conference on day 1 of ECTRIMS in Berlin, is aligned with several of the policy recommendations in the report Brain health: time matters in multiple sclerosis – which is now available in German. MS Brain Health is delighted that DMSG is one of the many organizations to have endorsed the report and we welcome their collaboration.