5 Important Tools for Multiple Sclerosis Diagnosis

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by Marta Ribeiro |

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A thorough physical examination and a complete account of medical history are first on the list of must-haves on the road to correctly diagnosing a patient with multiple sclerosis. But because early treatment is essential to curbing the intensity and progression of symptoms, a set of criteria called the McDonald Criteria is completed to initiate treatment as soon as possible. Meanwhile, the doctor orders a battery of imaging, laboratory, and other tests to accurately confirm an MS diagnosis.

The most important tools for confirming MS include:

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A Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a tool that helps to detect the lesions caused as a result of demyelination.

Read more about aggressive therapies, early MRIs, Tysabri and more, in this patient column.

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Cerebrospinal Fluid cultures from lumbar punctures and CSF testing for oligoclonal banding (bands of immunoglobulins and other inflammation-related proteins).

Find out more about MSPrecise and how it can be accurate in diagnosing MS.


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VEP is a tool which detects the strength of the nervous system and checks the speed of impulses based on stimulation of specific nervous pathways. The slower the speed, the greater the degree of damage.

Find out more about MSPrecise and how it can be very accurate in diagnosing MS.

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OCT is a tool that checks for damage to the optic nerve and also checks the retinal nerve after an episode of optic neuritis — inflammation of the optic nerve which causes blurry vision and sometimes partial or total blindness. This test may also be use to detect MS progression.

Find out more about multiple sclerosis diagnosis here.

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Blood tests can rule out infectious diseases and other health problems with symptoms that look like MS.


Find out more about multiple sclerosis diagnosis here.

Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

Questions to Ask Your Doctor If You’re Newly Diagnosed

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We consulted some of our community contributors at MS News Today and came up with 12 questions people should consider asking their doctors after an MS diagnosis.

Check it out by clicking here.

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