New Guideline for Alternative and Complementary Medicine for Multiple Sclerosis



Darrach Dolan

Publication Identity

American Academy of Neurology


The new AAN guideline details the safety and effectiveness of several complementary and alternative treatments for multiple sclerosis.

According to the National Institutes of Health, almost 40 percent of adult Americans use complementary or alternative medicine (CAM). Americans spent $33.9 billion on CAM in 2007 alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People with multiple sclerosis (MS) are even more likely than the average American to avail themselves of CAM, with some studies estimating their CAM usage as high as 80 percent.

MS is an inflammatory disease of the central nervous system that causes a wide range of symptoms—from mild to debilitating.

These symptoms can include fatigue, muscle stiffness and pain, cognitive impairment, difficulty balancing or walking, blurred vision, and tingling or burning sensations not unlike pins and needles.