If you are looking for information about MS, conditions that mimic it might cause you some confusion. This is why it is important to develop accurate tests for multiple sclerosis: Conditions that resemble it should be able to be excluded by such tests.


More on MS, Conditions that Resemble It


What are some of the conditions that resemble MS and that, in some situations, can be confused for it? Well, one of the well-known illnesses that mimics MS is Lyme disease. Lyme disease is actually known as the Great Imitator: it can be hard to diagnose because, depending on how it presents, its symptoms could be associated with any of a number of diseases. Unfortunately, when people suffering from Lyme disease are misdiagnosed, they end up getting the wrong form of treatment or no treatment at all.

This is terrible because Lyme disease is a bacterial disease that can easily and effectively be treated with antibiotics if diagnosed in good time. Those patients who are misdiagnosed simply deteriorate over time. They can suffer for decades, not knowing what they are suffering from and getting shunted from doctor to doctor. Ultimately, the Lyme disease causes them irreversible damage. The opposite is also true: patients with multiple sclerosis who get misdiagnosed as suffering from Lyme disease also experience deterioration in their health over the years. The antibiotics they take prove ineffective. Unfortunately, their failure to take medication that addresses their MS allows the faster development of MS lesions and the accompanying symptoms.

While some of the symptoms of Lyme disease are similar to those of MS, conditions such as Lyme disease can be distinguished from multiple sclerosis through a series of tests to rule either one or the other out. In some patients, however, both conditions coincide. Hence any tests done would confirm the existence of either one or both of the conditions. A doctor who was not thorough in administering the relevant tests during the diagnostic stage could easily diagnose and treat just one condition, leaving the other to spread and worsen.

Other conditions resemble multiple sclerosis. Conditions linked to heavy metal poisoning fall in this category. Heavy metal poisoning can induce neurological symptoms similar to those experienced by MS patients. However, these patients would not have the characteristic nervous tissue lesions. These patients would be able to find relief for their symptoms by getting treatment for the heavy metal poisoning. The permanence of their symptoms would likely depend on the form of poisoning and the length of exposure to the toxic substance.