Insights on Multiple Sclerosis in India

Jul 31 2022

Multiple sclerosis lecturers including Dr. Barry Singer being honored at the Madras Medical College in Chennai, India.

The true prevalence of multiple sclerosis in India is unknown, but a new national registry should hopefully provide insights. During my visit to AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences) in Delhi, Professor Padma Srivastava shared with me that over 1000 MS patients have been entered into the registry so far through a network of neurologists around India. Multiple sclerosis is being diagnosed more readily due increasing access to well-trained neurologists and widespread availability of relatively low-cost MRI imaging.

It was my honor to be invited to lecture at government hospitals to share the United States changes in MS care including early use of high efficacy treatment for appropriate patients. Special thanks to Professor Neera Chaudhary at Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi and Professor R. Lakshmi Narasimhan at Madras Medical College in Chennai and their department faculty for sharing their insights in MS care of Indian patients. In addition, I learned about the high rates of neuromyelitis optica in India similar to many other Asian countries.

Awareness of multiple sclerosis in India is critical for earlier diagnosis and treatment. Monoclonal antibody and generic oral disease-modifying therapies are available, but health inequalities still exist. In this era of numerous treatment options, the prognosis for someone living with MS is much more favorable than prior generations. In India, the stigma of being diagnosed with MS often results in young individuals not being able to marry and have families. Strong advocacy efforts will hopefully lead to change and improved quality of life for those living with MS in India.

BY: Barry Singer, MD DATE: July 31, 2022 TOPIC: MS Center News