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Multiple Sclerosis International
Volume 2013, Article ID 952321, 6 pages
Research Article

Future of Management of Multiple Sclerosis in the Middle East: A Consensus View from Specialists in Ten Countries

1King Abdullah International Medical Research Center, King Saud Ben Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, National Guard Health Affairs, P.O. Box 22490, Riyadh 11426, Saudi Arabia
2Prince Mohammed Ben Abdulaziz Hospital, Ministry of Health, Riyadh 1176, Saudi Arabia
3Division of Neurology, Amiri Hospital Kuwait, P.O. Box 1661, 73767 Qurtoba, Kuwait
4Division of Neurology, Dasman Diabetes Institute, 15462 Dasman, Kuwait
5Clinical Neurosciences Department, Salmaniya Medical Complex, 20525 Manama, Bahrain
6Department of Neurosciences, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, Riyadh 11211, Saudi Arabia
7Department of Internal Medicine, Neurology Section, Arab Medical Center and Khalidi Hospital, P.O. Box 925209, Amman 11190, Jordan
8Department of Neurology (Medicine), Hamad Medical Corporation, P.O. Box 3050, Doha, Qatar
9Merck Serono Intercontinental Region, Dubai 22730, UAE
10Department of Neurology, Damascus Hospital, P.O. Box 10053, Damascus, Syria
11MS Research Center, Neuroscience Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran 1136746911, Iran
12Division of Neurology, Department of Medicine, Tawam Hospital, P.O. Box 15258, Al Ain, UAE
13Neurology Section, King Khalid University Hospital, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh 11691, Saudi Arabia
14American University of Beirut Medical Center, Multiple Sclerosis Center, P.O. Box 11-0236, Beirut, Lebanon
15Neurologische Klinik Bamberg, 96049 Bamberg, Germany

Received 6 September 2013; Revised 28 October 2013; Accepted 29 October 2013

Academic Editor: Wolfgang Bruck

Copyright © 2013 Mohammed Aljumah et al. 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.


The prevalence of multiple sclerosis (MS) is now considered to be medium-to-high in the Middle East and is rising, particularly among women. While the characteristics of the disease and the response of patients to disease-modifying therapies are generally comparable between the Middle East and other areas, significant barriers to achieving optimal care for MS exist in these developing nations. A group of physicians involved in the management of MS in ten Middle Eastern countries met to consider the future of MS care in the region, using a structured process to reach a consensus. Six key priorities were identified: early diagnosis and management of MS, the provision of multidisciplinary MS centres, patient engagement and better communication with stakeholders, regulatory body education and reimbursement, a commitment to research, and more therapy options with better benefit-to-risk ratios. The experts distilled these priorities into a single vision statement: “Optimization of patient-centred multidisciplinary strategies to improve the quality of life of people with MS.” These core principles will contribute to the development of a broader consensus on the future of care for MS in the Middle East.