Epidemiology of multiple sclerosis in Central Europe, update from Hungary

Tamás Biernacki, Dániel Sandi, Zsanett Fricska-Nagy, Zsigmond Tamás Kincses, Judit Füvesi, Rózsa Laczkó, Zsófia Kokas, P. Klivényi, László Vécsei, K. Bencsik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objectives: Not so long ago, a novel phenotypic classification of multiple sclerosis (MS) and revisions to the McDonald diagnostic criteria were published. Good quality, standardized, and therefore comparable epidemiological data from the Central European region altogether are scarce, and data based on the aforementioned criteria are nonexistent; thus, an update is needed. Materials and Methods: Patients residing in Csongrád county with a definitive diagnosis of MS according to the 2017 McDonald criteria were included and evaluated by the 2014 revised phenotypic classification. Results: A total of 420 patients were included, of whom 313 were females (female/male ratio 2.925:1). Standardized prevalence was 101.8/100,000, and incidence was 4.44/100,000. Relapsing–remitting disease type was identified in 288 (68.57%) cases, of which 230 patients (79.86%) were treated and of which 202 patients (87.8%) showed no disease activity with their current treatment. Progressive disease type was seen in 132 (31.43%) cases, with 72 patients (54.54%) receiving treatment. More than half of the treated patients (178, 57%) were administered platform therapies, while 134 (43%) received highly active disease modifying therapies. Conclusion: The prevalence of MS in Hungary similarly to other countries shows a constant increase in the past decades. The majority of our patients received treatment and had a stable disease while being treated. The distribution of disease courses, phenotypes, and treatment status fell in line with data in the literature based on MS registries with a large number of participants. Ours is the first study to give epidemiological data based on the most recent McDonald criteria and phenotypic classification from the Central European region.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere01598
JournalBrain and Behavior
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2020


  • 2017 McDonald criteria
  • epidemiology
  • multiple sclerosis
  • phenotypic classification
  • treatment status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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    Biernacki, T., Sandi, D., Fricska-Nagy, Z., Kincses, Z. T., Füvesi, J., Laczkó, R., Kokas, Z., Klivényi, P., Vécsei, L., & Bencsik, K. (2020). Epidemiology of multiple sclerosis in Central Europe, update from Hungary. Brain and Behavior, 10(5), [e01598]. https://doi.org/10.1002/brb3.1598