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Is the epidemiology of MS in the Middle East changing?

Is the epidemiology of MS in the Middle East changing?
  • Neurology
Multiple sclerosis


4 January 2017



Course introduction


This online course, prepared by Prof. Bassem I Yamout, looks at the epidemiology of multiple sclerosis around the world, focusing particularly the Middle East.

The epidemiologic, clinical, radiological, and laboratory characterization of multiple sclerosis (MS) is well documented in Caucasian populations, but data about MS is still limited in the Arab world. A review of all published MS epidemiologic studies from the region shows that most Arab countries fall in the moderate MS prevalence zone, with prevalence rates slightly lower than Southern European but much higher than sub-Saharan African countries. They also demonstrate a clear trend towards increased MS prevalence over the last few decades.

This course aims to review the main factors contributing to the changes of epidemiology of MS in the world and in particular of the Middle East area and to highlight the healthcare unmet needs of these regions of the world in the management of MS.

Learning objectives

By the end of this course participants will be able to:

  • Describe the changes of MS epidemiology in the World and in Middle East
  • Illustrate the main factors contributing to the change of the epidemiology
  • Explain differences in MS features between western and eastern countries

Target audience

Healthcare professionals specializing in the MS field

Instructions for participation

Each slide in the course is accompanied by a video commentary from Prof. Yamout. You may pause, repeat or skip sections as you wish. Please use the on-screen forward (right arrow) and backwards (left arrow) buttons to move through the presentation at your own speed. You may also jump to any slide you choose using the slide index.

Once you have completed the activity, you should undertake the final assessment test. If you achieve a score of 80% or greater you will be able to download your certificate (EACCME CME accreditation for 1 European CME credit).


Bassem I Yamout

Professor of neurology
Multiple Sclerosis Center Clinical Research
American University of Beirut Medical Center
Beirut, Lebanon


Dr. Yamout is currently Professor of neurology at the American University of Beirut Medical Center. He graduated from medical school at AUB in 1984, received his training in neurology at the University of Cincinnati-Ohio followed by a fellowship at the Montreal Neurological Institute-McGill University, and joined the faculty of the American University of Beirut in 1988. His main focus of research is in the field of multiple sclerosis. He is currently president of the MENACTRIMS, Head of clinical research at the Multiple Sclerosis Center, Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology, and member of multiple regional and international MS advisory boards.

Dr Yamout is one of the leading experts on multiple sclerosis in the Middle East and Arab region with recent research on epidemiology of the disease in the region, quality of life of patients in the Middle East, novel therapies such as stem cell transplantation and venous stenosis, and the impact of wars on the course of multiple sclerosis. In addition, he is currently the principal investigator on several ongoing international multiple sclerosis research trials. Dr Yamout has authored many research and review papers and is currently Chief Editor of the MS newsletter “MS today”, and on the editorial board of “Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders”.

Faculty disclosure

Disclosure of faculty relationships

All EXCEMED programmes are organized solely to promote the exchange and dissemination of scientific and medical information. No forms of promotional activities are permitted. There may be presentations discussing investigational uses of various products. These views are the responsibility of the named speakers, and do not represent an endorsement or recommendation on the part of EXCEMED. This programme is made possible thanks to an educational grant received from Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.

Prof. Yamout has declared the receipt of grants and contracts from: Novartis, Biogen and Merck and the receipt of honoraria and consultation fees from Novartis, Biogen, Merck and Bayer.