Just How Do Doctors Diagnose Multiple Sclerosis?

Learn about the battery of tests you might need.

How is Multiple Sclerosis diagnosed? There is not a single symptom or test that gives a definitive answer on whether or not you have Multiple Sclerosis. However, your doctor will take you through a battery of tests including a thorough discussion of your medical history, a neurological exam, an MRI, blood tests and a spinal fluid analysis. Your doctor will also evaluate your coordination and movement as well as your balance and vision.

For diagnosing multiple sclerosis, your doctor must find two separate areas of damage in the central nervous system. It must be determined that this damage occurred during separate attacks at least one month apart.

There are different forms of MS, each of which can be mild, moderate or severe. For some people, symptoms may come and go, and when the symptoms flare up, it's called an attack or an exacerbation.

Paul Knoepflmacher, MD

This video features Paul Knoepflmacher, MD. Dr. Knoepflmacher is a clinical instructor of medicine at The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, where he also maintains a private practice.

Duration: 3:44. Last Updated On: April 16, 2018, 5:01 p.m.
Reviewed by: Mera Goodman, MD, Preeti Parikh, MD . Review date: Sept. 10, 2014
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