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New study looks at how to diagnose MELAS

Individuals in New York who have a disease called MELAS might be interested to learn that the Chinese Medical Journal has published a study that looks at the current methods of diagnosing the disease. MELAS is a mitochondrial disease, which tends to be rare, but among mitochondrial diseases, it is one of the more common ones. Because symptoms can vary from person to person, it is also frequently misdiagnosed. The prognosis for a patient with MELAS improves with an early diagnosis.

MELAS affects multiple systems in the body, and its symptoms can include headaches, seizures, vomiting and muscle weakness. Chinese researchers identified stroke-like episodes as the most prominent indicator of the disease.

According to the researchers, MRIs, genetic analysis and muscle biopsy are all valuable tools for identifying MELAS. Researchers suggested that these should be combined with observation of symptoms to more accurately diagnose the disease in a timely fashion.

While a disease such as MELAS may be difficult to diagnose, an individual who feels that they or a loved one has suffered due to a delayed diagnosis may wish to consult an attorney about filing a civil lawsuit. The success of such a lawsuit will depend in part upon whether or not the medical professional who failed to diagnose was negligent. In other words, if it is a diagnosis that could reasonably be expected to have been made, than the medical professional may have been negligent. A medical professional or a medical facility might also agree to settle outside of court in order to avoid negative publicity. A successful lawsuit might help to cover additional medical bills, the care of dependents and other expenses. It may also be necessary to demonstrate the extent of damages caused to the individual as a result of the failure to diagnose.

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