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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Abstract Multiple Sclerosis MS is a chronic autoimmune disease of the Central Nervous System causing inflammation and neurodegeneration. There are only 3 epidemiological studies in Portugal, 2 in the Centre and 1 in the North, and there is the need to further study MS epidemiology in this country. The objective of this work is to contribute to the MS epidemiological knowledge in Portugal, describing the patients' epidemiological, demographic, and clinical characteristics in the Braga district of Portugal. This is a cross-sectional study of patients followed in two hospitals of Braga district. These hospitals cover a resident population of , inhabitants.
The diagnosis of Multiple sclerosis.
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Brain ; The natural history of multiple sclerosis: a geographically based study. Clinical course and disability. Predictive value of the early clinical course. Multivariate analysis of predictive factors and models of outcome.
Mattews WB. Clinical aspects. Mc Alpine's multiple sclerosis. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, P McAlpine D. The benign form of multiple sclerosis: a study based on cases seen within 3 years of onset and followed up until the 10h year or more of the disease.
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Irrespective of age and gender [ 3 , 4 ], may occur at all stages of the disease, even at the very early beginning [ 5 , 6 ] and definitely impacts the lives of MS patients and their families [ 3 , 7 , 8 ].
The characteristic pattern of cognitive impairment in MS has been described early on to include memory, information processing efficiency, executive functioning, attention and processing speed [ 1 ]. However, the cognitive domains most likely to be affected in MS are information processing speed and memory, whilst visual processing and executive function are less likely to be impaired and language is largely intact [ 1 , 9 — 12 ].
The most frequently used neuropsychological batteries for patients with MS such us, the Brief Repeatable Battery of Neuropsychological tests and the Minimal Assessment of Cognitive Function in MS, require specialized technical and human resources and take a considerable time for evaluation in the daily clinical setting [ 1 , 13 ]. The aims of this study are to describe the normative values of the Portuguese version of the BICAMS with gender, age and education corrections and to test the validity of this battery in a sample of Portuguese patients with MS.
Methods Participants A group of patients with MS diagnosed according to the McDonald criteria [ 19 ] and a control group of 60 age, gender and education matched healthy subjects HC , entered this study, and conducted in the period — The study was approved by the ethical committees of both hospitals.
All the participants, from MS group and HC, volunteered to participate in this study, giving written informed consent.
Procedures An initial demographic interview was conducted. This was based on a common script that included a demographic questionnaire, medical history, drinking and drug habits and present health status.
The SDMT [ 16 ] examines sustained attention, concentration and processing speed. In the district of Braga, there are two hospitals with consultation and treatment of multiple sclerosis for a resident population of , inhabitants INE.
Braga is the youngest district of Portugal: The population of this district is mostly lower middle class which covers All the cases were assessed by a neurologist and included in the study whenever they met the Poser diagnostic criteria.
Only residents of Braga district which had an office visit between the 1st of January and the 31st of December were included in this study.
There were no clinical records for HSM patients before In order to compare the hospitals, the year of diagnosis for HSO patients was considered to be for every patient that had records older than that.
In this study, for all MS patients, demographic characteristics sex, age, age at diagnosis, treatment, and spatial distribution of place of residence and clinical outcome type of the disease, treatment, clinical severity score [EDSS], and year and month of diagnosis are reported.
Student's t-test and Chi-squared test were used to evaluate differences between groups. The estimated disease prevalence is