ECTRIMS 2018 – Burning Debate


On Wednesday 10th October at ECTRIMS 2018, we will be running another Burning Debate. Like previous years, the aim of this session is to encourage MS clinicians and researchers to use social media (specifically Twitter) to discuss topical issues in MS research and treatment. 

The topic this year is: The new McDonald diagnostic criteria are controversial, making them difficult to use in clinical practice.

(Image: The 2016 debate got slightly inflated)

Debate Chair: Emmanuelle Waubant
Speaking FOR the motion: Frauke Zipp (1st speaker)
Speaking AGAINST the motion: Jiwon Oh (2nd Speaker)

Time: 15.30 – 17:00
Room: Hall B
Wednesday 10th October

The changes in the diagnostic criteria has been written about both on this blog and also on the MS Trust website amongst other places. This debate aims to air an argument FOR and AGAINST our motion that this new criteria are controversial and difficult to use. This is both an educational exercise for the MS community (with speakers bringing in examples from clinical practice) but also provides a supportive environment where the practical issues can be discussed to improve everyday practice.

Why is this topic of interest to patients?Diagnosis is always a central point in a person’s MS experience and can be a problematic and confusing time. If someone remains undiagnosed, then they either can’t get treated for their MS, or are held up in getting treatment for another condition. If the diagnosis criteria change or are confusing for clinicians, then this will directly impact on the speed and accuracy of a patient’s diagnosis.

If you want to get involved, you can follow the #burningdebate when the debate is happening and contribute your thoughts and comments to the speakers. In previous years, this has turned out to be challenging, entertaining, and has put some speakers on the spot!

We will post the video of the debate on the blog when it is ready.

Why is this topic of interest to clinicians?They need to know this. It’s a change of practice.

Why is this topic of interest to researchers?Researchers need to know what is MS and what isn’t. If this criteria changes it can impact everyone defining what is MS and what isn’t, clinically.

About the author

Alison Thomson


  • The scientific community still can't find reliable diagnostic criteria. The cause and the cure are (for them) still light years away.

  • I still have no diagnosis of definate ms after changes in criteria. It is very frustrating. I have over 20 brain lesions, 1 spinal lesion, positive lumbur puncture, 1 relapse though probable previous one 10 years ago. Still remain CIS with ongoing symptoms.

By Alison Thomson



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