• Diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

    The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will also be done. It often is difficult to diagnose multiple sclerosis (MS) because the symptoms are similar to those of other conditions. There is no definitive test for MS; however, the findings of some tests can contribute to a diagnosis.
    Tests may include:
    • MRI scan —This test uses magnetic and radio waves to check for damage to the myelin sheath of the nerves in the brain and spinal cord. A contrast substance may be used to help doctors identify damaged areas. MRI may also be used to track changes in the disease.
    • Evoked responses—This test records the speed of the electrical responses in sensory, visual, or auditory nerves after a repeated sensory stimulus. This test can help identify abnormal areas affected by MS. Visual evoked potential tests are most often used in evaluating MS.
    • Lumbar puncture (spinal tap) —In this procedure, a small amount of fluid from around the spinal cord is removed and checked for white blood cells, antibodies, and proteins. Doctors look for abnormal changes associated with MS.
    Other tests may be done to rule out other conditions that may have similar symptoms.

    References

    Multiple sclerosis. Access Medicine website. Available at: http://www.accessmedicine.com.ezp-prod1.hul.harvard.edu/quickam.aspx . Accessed March 12, 2010.

    Multiple sclerosis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php . Updated July 13, 2011. Accessed August 8, 2011.

    National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/ .

    National Multiple Sclerosis Society website. Available at: http://nationalmssociety.org/ .

    Revision Information

  • Join WellZones today.

    Make a Change For LifeLearn more

    Wellmont LiveWell is creating a new tradition of wellness in the mountains by providing individuals with tools and encouragement to live healthier lifestyles.

  • HeartSHAPE Spotlight

    HeartSHAPE® Test Learn more

    Fight heart disease early and prevent heart attacks with HeartSHAPE® - a painless, non-invasive test that takes pictures of your heart to scan for early-stage coronary disease.

  • Calories and Energy Needs

    Calorie NeedsLearn more

    How many calories do you need to eat each day to maintain your weight and fuel your physical activity? Enter a few of your stats into this calculator to find out.

  • Ideal Body Weight

    Ideal Body WeightLearn more

    Using body mass index as a reference, this calculator determines your ideal body weight range. All you need to do is enter your height.

  • Body Mass Index

    Body Mass IndexLearn more

    This tool considers your height and weight to assess your weight status.


  • Can we help answer your questions?

    Wellmont Nurse Connection is your resource for valuable health information any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Speak to a Nurse any time, day or night, at (423) 723-6877 or toll-free at 1-877-230-NURSE.