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Data Collection

Data is collected from both MS patients and matched controls who do not have MS. Data is collected in the following manner:


When a patient is diagnosed with MS at one of the 42 participating neurological clinics he/she is asked to participate in the EIMS study. Blood samples are collected at the clinic and the patient is given the EIMS questionnaire along with information about the study. The neurological clinics receive all the materials and information necessary to recruit newly diagnosed MS patients from Karolinksa Institutet (KI).

The patient may complete the questionnaire at home and thereafter send it to the EIMS study offices at KI in an included pre-paid envelope. Once a questionnaire has been received at KI it is reviewed and the patient may be contacted via telephone if there is any information missing from the questionnaire. Thereafter all personal information such as name, address and personal number is removed from the questionnaire and the EIMS identification code will be used thus forth to analyze the data from the questionnaire. The EIMS identification code is also linked to the blood samples given by the patient so that the data from the questionnaire and the blood samples can be analyzed together.




When an MS patient has been identified at a neurological clinic, the EIMS administrative group receives a fax from the clinic containing personal information about the patient. Based on this information, two controls are randomly selected from the population using a program designed by Statistics Sweden. The controls are matched to the patient by age, gender and residential area.

Once the controls have been identified they will receive material on the EIMS study informing them of the fact that they have been randomly selected from the Swedish population to answer a questionnaire. The questionnaire is then sent to them the following week. After they have completed the questionnaire they are also asked to give a blood sample at a local medical center or hospital.

The controls are a necessary part of the study since it is through the comparison of cases and controls that the risk factors for developing MS can be identified.










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