DÄ internationalArchive17/2008Multiple Sclerosis Registry in Germany – Results of the Extension Phase 2005/2006: Article of 30 Years Ago

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Multiple Sclerosis Registry in Germany – Results of the Extension Phase 2005/2006: Article of 30 Years Ago

Dtsch Arztebl Int 2008; 105(17): 318; DOI: 10.3238/arztebl.2008.0318a

Firnhaber, W

LNSLNS As much as the implementation of the MS registry is to be welcomed, it comes as something of a surprise that no mention is made of the epidemiological studies from Göttingen and Darmstadt of 40 years ago. Further "installments" to these studies have also been published (1, 2, 3). They deal with the illness course, age at onset of illness, fitness to work, age and sex distribution, trigger factors for MS or factors that lead to deterioration, and prognostic criteria. Our research in Göttingen and Darmstadt was supported by the German Research Foundation and the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft, and has been supported up to now by the Hertie Foundation. In the area of epidemiological MS research, two habilitation (professoral) theses, many individual studies, and numerous PhD theses have been published. It was of particular importance to set out reliable data on prevalence, incidence, and mortality in different parts of Germany. The methodological problems have been discussed on numerous occasions. Initially we preferred detailed field studies. Our results are pretty consistent with these new data. In spite of all the work that has gone into them, the new data yield hardly any new results. Our studies have been published in different German language publications but also in international journals. The fact that they were not cited in the bibliography of the study reported by Flachenecker et al. leads us to the conclusion that their literature search was not solid; otherwise it may be assumed that our studies would have been identified. About 30 years ago I published a longer article in Deutsches Ärzteblatt, on the epidemiology of MS; the global distribution of MS that was described in the article even made the week's cover image. DOI: 10.3238/arztebl.2008.0318a


Prof. Dr. med. Wolfgang Firnhaber
Mangoldweg 25, 64287 Darmstadt, Germany
M.W.Firnhaber@t-online.de

Conflict of interest statement
Professor Firnhaber declares that no conflict of interest exists according to the guidelines of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors.
1.
Firnhaber W: Multiple Sklerose – Methodik und Ergebnisse einer geomedizinischen Untersuchung. Fortschr Med 1972; 90: 14. MEDLINE
2.
Lauer K, Firnhaber W: Epidemiological investigations into multiple sclerosis in Southern Hesse I-III. Acta Neurol Scand 1984: 70: 257–73; 1985: 72: 397–402. MEDLINE
3.
Firnhaber W, Lauer K: Multiple Sclerosis in Europe – an Epidemiological Update. Alsbach/Bergstraße: Leuchtturm-Verlag 1994; 1–27.
1. Firnhaber W: Multiple Sklerose – Methodik und Ergebnisse einer geomedizinischen Untersuchung. Fortschr Med 1972; 90: 14. MEDLINE
2. Lauer K, Firnhaber W: Epidemiological investigations into multiple sclerosis in Southern Hesse I-III. Acta Neurol Scand 1984: 70: 257–73; 1985: 72: 397–402. MEDLINE
3. Firnhaber W, Lauer K: Multiple Sclerosis in Europe – an Epidemiological Update. Alsbach/Bergstraße: Leuchtturm-Verlag 1994; 1–27.