What is the recommended follow-up and long-term monitoring of multiple sclerosis (MS)?

Updated: Oct 08, 2019
  • Author: Christopher Luzzio, MD; Chief Editor: Jasvinder Chawla, MD, MBA  more...
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Answer

Recommended follow-up is yearly at minimum. Patients receiving therapy with certain agents (eg, natalizumab, fingolimod) require monitoring as often as every 3-4 months. Clinicians who also provide primary care for the patient with MS can perform routine health maintenance at these annual visits. For patients with worsening symptoms, a medical cause, such as infection, should be ruled out first before assuming that the patient is having an exacerbation.

Once a patient/provider relationship is established, a great deal of symptom management can be provided through careful telephone triage. More frequent visits, such as bimonthly or quarterly, may be necessary for patients with difficult symptoms, such as intractable spasticity, or for individuals whose social support system is not as stable as necessary.


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