Late onset multiple sclerosis: concerns in aging patients

ABSTRACT Late onset multiple sclerosis (LOMS) is when the first symptom starts after 50 years of age, representing 4.5% of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. This study describes the clinical characteristics of patients with LOMS followed at a specialized MS center in São Paulo. Data was obtained from medical records of 742 patients with MS. The LOMS frequency was 4.18%, median age at onset was 54 years and the predominant disease course was primary progressive (64.3%). The patients reached the disability landmarks of EDSS grades 3.0, 6.0 and 7.0 in the following proportion and time: EDSS 3.0: 77.42% of patients in 3.7 years; EDSS 6.0: 58.06% in 5.1 years and EDSS 7.0: 32.26% in 5.7 years. The comparative analysis with a matched control group of patients with early onset MS showed that late onset, associated with a progressive course, were predictors of reaching EDSS 3.0 and 6.0 in a shorter time.