In Western Norway, long-term follow up epidemiological studies have revealed significant increases in the incidence and prevalence rates of multiple sclerosis (MS) in stable populations, indicating the impact of exogenous factors. In this study 183 MS patients and 102 controls from high prevalence areas in Western Norway were investigated for human T-lymphotropic virus type I (HTLV-1) related sequences by polymerase chain reaction. Using primers targeting the gag, pol and env genes in the HTLV-1 provirus genome, no amplification products were detected in the 183 MS patients or 102 controls. The results strongly suggest that neither HTLV-1 nor a closely related retrovirus participate in the aetiology of MS.
To evaluate disability and prognosis in an untreated population-based incidence cohort of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients.
The Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score was recorded in 220 MS patients. Disease progression was assessed by life table analysis with different endpoints and multivariate Cox regression analysis was performed for evaluation of prognostic factors.
The probability of being alive after 15 years was 94.8 +/- 1.8% (s.e.), of managing without a wheelchair (EDSS 3 years) predicted favorable outcome. There was also a trend towards favorable outcome in patients with optic neuritis, sensory symptoms and low age at onset but these factors were associated with the RR course. Motor symptoms and high age at onset indicated unfavorable outcome, but these factors were associated with the primary progressive course.
A RR course and long inter-episode intervals in the early phase of the disease were associated with a better outcome. Other onset characteristics indicating a favorable outcome were associated with the RR course while characteristics indicating an unfavorable outcome were associated with the PP course.
We sought to study the etiology of and risk factors for cerebral infarction in young adults in Hordaland County, Norway. All patients aged 15-49 years living in Hordaland County with a first-ever cerebral infarction during 1988-97 were included. Etiology was analyzed in subgroups defined by sex, age (/=40 years), circulation territory (anterior versus posterior circulation) and short-term functional outcome [modified Rankin score (mRS) 2]. A questionnaire was used to evaluate possible risk factors amongst the patients compared with an age- and sex-matched control group. The distribution of etiology was significantly different in all subgroups. Atherosclerosis was frequent amongst men (22.8% vs. 4.2%) and patients >/= 40 years (20.8% vs. 2.7%). All patients with microangiopathy had favorable short-term outcome. Significant risk factors were smoking more than 15 cigarettes per day (P
OBJECTIVES: We analysed the long-term outcome of 232 young adults aged 15-49 years with first-ever cerebral infarction in 1988-1997 in western Norway. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Mortality, recurrence, epilepsy, functional state as evaluated by modified Rankin scale (mRS), and employment were analysed at follow-up (mean time 5.7 years). RESULTS: Twenty-three (9.9%) patients had died. Recurrence occurred in 9.9%, and post-stroke seizures developed in 10.5%. Recurrence was associated with diabetes mellitus (P = 0.005). Favourable functional outcome (mRS = 2) was found in 77.9%. The functional outcome was better in posterior than anterior circulation infarctions (P = 0.011). Unfavourable functional outcome (mRS > 2) was associated with diabetes mellitus (P = 0.001) and severity of neurological deficits on admission for the index stroke (P
BACKGROUND: Multiple sclerosis (MS) patients accumulate both physical and mental health problems along with disease progression. Valid and sensitive outcome measures are important to measure disease effects and the effect of treatment. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to test the performance of the physical and mental summary scales of SF-36, SF-12, and RAND-36. METHODS: The scales were evaluated by comparing the scores of a cohort of 194 MS patients with general population data and using the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) and the Incapacity Status Scale-mental as criterion variables for physical functioning and mental health. RESULTS: All 3 physical summary scales were markedly reduced and correlated highly with the EDSS. The SF-36 mental summary score was only slightly reduced among MS patients (0.2 SD) compared with the general population, despite significantly reduced scores on all 4 health scales being most related to mental health and despite a high prevalence of mental health problems. This results from the poor physical functioning (mean scale score, 2.3 SD below the general population) and the orthogonal factor rotation used to derive independent measures of physical and mental health. Similar results were found for the SF-12. The nonorthogonal RAND-36 physical and mental summary scores were both markedly reduced. This is more compatible with the disease progression in MS and the results of the other measures of physical and mental health used in the study. CONCLUSIONS: The SF-36 and SF-12 mental health summary scales appear to overestimate mental health in people with MS.
OBJECTIVE: To compare the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) and self-rated quality of life scores (SF-36 Health Survey) as measures of disease impact in a representative sample of MS patients. BACKGROUND: The EDSS is the most common outcome measure of impairment/disability for MS patients but is heavily weighted toward mobility. Sensitive outcome measures are needed that also capture other aspects of the effects of MS. METHODS: The authors performed a cross-sectional study of the cohort of all individuals with onset of MS between 1976 and 1986 who were diagnosed before 1995 in Hordaland County, Norway. A total of 194 patients (94%) participated. RESULTS: The patients had lower mean scores for all eight SF-36 health dimensions compared with sex- and age-adjusted scores in a general population. EDSS scores correlated highly with physical functioning (r = -0.86, R2 = 0.73), and explained some of the variation in social functioning (r = -0.48, R2 = 0.23) and general health (r = -0.46, R2 = 0.21) but little for the other dimensions. CONCLUSIONS: The SF-36 captures the broad effects of MS, and the results showed that patients also are bothered frequently with health problems such as bodily pain and low vitality. These problems, which are not reflected in the Expanded Disability Status Scale, should be given more attention in the treatment of MS and when evaluating interventions.
Comment In: Neurology. 2001 May 8;56(9):125011342708
OBJECTIVE: Physical disability explains only part of the reduced quality of life found among multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. Bladder dysfunction and sexual disturbance are frequent and distressing problems for MS patients. We therefore estimated the relationship between the presence and degree of sexual disturbance/bladder dysfunction and the patients' quality of life as measured by the SF-36 Health Survey. METHODS: We performed a cross-sectional study of all individuals with the onset of MS between 1976 and 1986 in Hordaland County, Norway. The disease duration at examination was 9-19 years; 194 patients (94%) participated. RESULTS: Fifty-three per cent of the patients with low physical disability (Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) 4.0) were 86 and 81% respectively. The patients with sexual disturbance had markedly and significantly reduced scores on all eight SF-36 scales, this was after adjustment for disease development measured by the EDSS. The patients without sexual disturbance scored 0.5 s.d. lower than a normal population on the social functioning scale, whereas those with marked sexual disturbance scored 1.5 s.d. lower. Similar results were found for the patients with bladder dysfunction. CONCLUSION: Bladder and sexual problems are associated with a marked reduction in the quality of life, also among patients with otherwise low disability. This underlines the need for identifying and treating these problems.