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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Multiple Sclerosis: Diagnosis & Tests
      Category : Health Centers > Brain and Nervous System

Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

How is the disease diagnosed?

Diagnosis of MS begins with a history and physical exam. There is no test that can specifically diagnose MS. A cranial MRI may show damage to the myelin coating in the brain. But some people with MS have a normal MRI.

A spinal tap may be done to obtain cerebrospinal fluid. This is the fluid that surrounds the spinal cord and brain. The fluid is examined for evidence of immune system problems. An evoked potential test studies electrical impulses. It can be done to look for slowing of messages in different parts of the brain.

MS is sometimes diagnosed by ruling out all other possible causes for the symptoms. The basic rule for diagnosing MS has two criteria:

  • two attacks of MS symptoms, at least 1 month apart
  • more than one area of damage to the myelin sheath of the nerve, without evidence of other disease that could damage the myelin

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    Multiple Sclerosis: Symptoms & Signs


    Multiple Sclerosis: Prevention & Expectations

    Author: Gerald C. McIntosh, MD
    Reviewer: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Date Reviewed: 08/27/01

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