Defining the clinical course of multiple sclerosis: results of an international survey. National Multiple Sclerosis Society (USA) Advisory Committee on Clinical Trials of New Agents in Multiple Sclerosis

Neurology. 1996 Apr;46(4):907-11. doi: 10.1212/wnl.46.4.907.


Standardization of terminology used to describe the pattern and course of MS is essential for mutual understanding between clinicians and investigators. It is particularly important in design of, and recruitment for, clinical trials statistically powered for expected outcomes for given patient populations with narrowly defined entry criteria. For agents that prove safe and effective for MS, knowledge of the patient populations in definitive clinical trials assists clinicians in determining who may ultimately benefit from use of the medication. An international survey of clinicians involved with MS revealed areas of consensus about some terms classically used to describe types of the disease and other areas for which there was lack of consensus. In this report, we provide a summary of the survey results and propose standardized definitions for the most common clinical courses of patients with MS.

MeSH terms

  • Disease Progression
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • International Cooperation
  • Multiple Sclerosis / physiopathology*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Terminology as Topic*