I am on the fence regarding the idea that earlier diagnosis has it's advantages. Medically and logically, I can see that. We have access to drugs and therapies early on, maybe before irreparable damage is done. And there's always hope on the horizon, Antegren being the first to come to mind.
But then I look at people who have the isolated flare up of ON or symptoms mild enough that a diagnosis is not reached, and many years pass and they don't have this cloud of MS hanging over their heads. This happened to 2 friends of mine over the past 20 years, both had severe attacks of ON, never received a diagnosis, were treated only initially with steroids, told it could be MS later on down the line, and they have gone on without any other incident. Some days I am jealous of those people. If they have MS, they don't know it.
I have spent the past 3 years in search of teens diagnosed with MS. My 16 year old son was diagnosed 3 years ago. To date, I have been in contact with 6 parents of teens who have been diagnosed with MS. Out of these 6 teens, my son and one other seem to be holding their own against this disease. The other 4 are progressing very quickly, using chemo, in wheelchairs, etc. I must say that it has really frightened me, after being told by all the neuros that it was to our advantage to find out early. It scared me when I reached out to find other parents and found that some of the teens were so progressive, despite treatment. I am scared alot these days, though.
Would I be more frightened without the diagnosis? I don't think so. I don't think it's possible to be any more frightened than I have been for the last 3 years for my son, either way. Would it help if his diagnosis were confirmed and not based on lesion appearance alone? Yes, it would. At least I would stop searching and driving his doctors insane!
Just my thoughts...And we all know what they're worth! Take care and have a great day!