Canada: defining a disease

How to define a disease and how not to formulate diagnostic criteria. #MSBlog #MSResearch

“The following is the talk I gave on defining a disease to the staff at SickKids, Toronto, on Monday and the grand round at Dalhousie, Halifax, on Wednesday. It explains what happens to the prognosis of a disease when you change the definition.”


About the author

Prof G

Professor of Neurology, Barts & The London. MS & Preventive Neurology thinker, blogger, runner, vegetable gardener, husband, father, cook and wine & food lover.


  • Oh, if only we had the sound to accompany your slide deck to fully understand your explanations. I am able to follow along with the majority of the ideas presented. I would like to hear your explanation of the final sentence on the final slide… "Undiagnosing MS is hard" From an earlier slide, do I understand you propose that up to possibly 5% of diagnosed cases of MS are actually something else?

    With what we know about early treatment and accumulating disability over time, especially without DMT treatment, would it not be preferable to err in favor of diagnosing? By emphasizing this as your final comment in the presentation I am concerned it sends the message to doctors they should withhold dx of MS unless they are positive, which we know it impossible.

    • I have suggested the sound recording a few times. We have not got round to getting a stand alone unit. It wouldhave to small enough to be portable but need good quality sound…..Any ideas for a solution?

By Prof G



Recent Posts

Recent Comments