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JAMA. 1966;195(9):775-776. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03100090109028.
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Multiple sclerosis (MS), one of the most common primary diseases of the nervous system, affects nearly one in 2,000 citizens of northern Europe and North America. The illness is generally considered one of unknown cause, unpredictable course, and unresponsive to therapy. Recent epidemiologic studies in MS, summarized by Kurtzke in the February issue of the Archives of Neurology,1 indicate that the world may be divided into three parts based upon the distribution of MS. In the high-frequency band (30 to 60 per 100,000 population) lie Europe and Switzerland through Scandinavia, the northern United States and southern Canada; south of this are the medium-frequency zones (5 to 15 per 100,000) of southern Europe, southern United States, and Australia. Low-incidence areas (0 to 4 per 100,000) are found in Asia and Africa. To define the distribution of the disease in more meaningful terms it is necessary to consider studies in which


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