Multiple sclerosis in Pakistan: Current status and future perspective

Zara Shah, Mohammad Wasay, Burhan Z. Chaudhry, Sten Fredrikson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a demyelinating disease of the central nervous system (CNS) which commonly leads to disability. We reviewed articles on MS from Pakistan using PubMed, Google Scholar and Pak Medinet to present different aspects of the disease and the status of disease modifying treatments in Pakistan and South Asia. MS is not as uncommon in Pakistan as it has been previously thought to be. Estimated prevalence of MS in Pakistan may be 10 per 100,000 population. Data suggests that most features of MS found in Pakistan are similar to those found in the West. These features include a female preponderance, mean age of onset in the third decade of life and similar risk factors including viral infections, smoking, and vitamin D deficiency, as well as genetic risk factors. Relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) is the most common disease pattern seen in Pakistan which is also consistent with data from other regions. Treatment modalities in Pakistan include immunomodulatory and immunosuppressive drugs. In order to improve care for MS patients in Pakistan, it is extremely important to obtain a population-based prevalence of MS in the country and a national MS registry, along with implementing programs for patients' awareness and the training of doctors, especially internists. There are many disease modifying therapies (DMT) available in Pakistan but no data is available on the utilization and impact of these DMTs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number117066
JournalJournal of the Neurological Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2020


  • Demyelinating
  • Disease modifying
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Pakistan
  • South Asia


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