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Twenty-five cases of multiple sclerosis (MS), including 2 autopsy cases, collected during the past 20 years from amongst the Chinese of Taiwan, are reported. These cases fulfilled all the clinical diagnostic criteria of MS.
The following observations were made:
- 1.(1) Multiple sclerosis does exist among Chinese in Taiwan. It is uncommon, but is by no means a very rare disease. The prevalence rate in northern Taiwan near Taipei is estimated as population.
- 2.(2) Female preponderence was conspicuous (F:M = 3.2:1) in our MS cases as well as in other demyelinating diseases.
- 3.(3) On the whole, the onset of the disease was earlier in female patients, and those who had their initial symptoms before the age of 20 years were all females.
- 4.(4) The optic nerve was most frequently involved at the onset, and it was involved in the majority of patients during the whole clinical course.
- 5.(5) Involvement of the optic nerve and spinal cord, with or without the brain stem, was the commonest form of our MS cases, especially among female patients.
- 6.(6) More malignant forms of MS, with acute onset and rapid clinical course leading to severe incapacity or fatality, were more common among female patients.
- 7.(7) Painful tonic spasms were relatively frequently encountered, and they were usually seen in patients with severe spinal cord involvement.
- 8.(8) Marked elevation of the CSF total protein and of leukocytes was relatively frequent during severe relapses in patients with spinal cord lesions.
- 9.(9) Severe and extensive demyelinating lesions, both old and recent, in the optic nerve and spinal cord were seen in 2 autopsy cases. The relationship between MS and NMO in Oriental patients is briefly discussed.
- 10.(10) It seems likely that cases of MS which are atypical as compared with Western MS are more frequently seen in Oriental countries, and perhaps also in tropical regions where MS is known to be rare.
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Received: July 28, 1975
© 1976 Published by Elsevier Inc.