Context and Definition

Previously-well patients may present to the emergency department (ED) with a wide range of neurological symptoms that may be attributable to multiple sclerosis (MS) but may also indicate other aetiologies.

Patients with an established diagnosis of MS may present to the ED with acute complications for which treatment needs to be instituted promptly in order to minimise complications [1,2].


MS is an idiopathic, inflammatory demyelinating disorder of the brain and spinal cord [Image shown: Demyelination with cell loss].

It is a chronic and potentially highly disabling disorder with considerable social impact and economic consequences.

It is the major cause of non-traumatic disability in young adults.

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