How is multiple sclerosis diagnosed?

Detective Work. No one diagnostic study can stand alone to conclusively diagnose ms. A neurologist must be a detective, hunting out clues from symptoms suggesting abnormal function in the brain or spinal cord white matter, of appropriate duration (greater than 24 hours) coupled with abnormalities on examination. Mri, spinal fluid, and certain blood tests. This information can help exclude MS mimickers.
Some basics. Based on both history and physical exam, suggesting problems intermittently over time, and different areas of brain, spinal cord, or eyes. To confirm, the classical MRI will display appropriate new and old lesions scattered over brain white matter. On occasion, spinal fluid abnormalities will add further confirmation.
Diagnosin' MS. MS is normally diagnosed with the information from a history, exam, brain/spinal cord MRI and spinal tap. There are criteria called MacDonald criteria that help people make the diagnosis. Even so, it is not always easy.
Multiple Sclerosis. It requires symptoms first of all. If there is a concern then it usually involves an MRI of the brain and usually a spinal tap looking for something called oligoclonal bands.

Related Questions

How do you diagnose multiple sclerosis?

Clinical diagnosis. Although the MRI can help support the diagnosis, and spinal fluid analysis may help, the diagnosis ultimately depends on a physician analysing history and exam findings, and making certain that alternative problems are not the true diagnosis. Read more...

How do doctors diagnose multiple sclerosis (ms)? What are the typical symptoms?

Diagnosed by MRI. Typically MS is diagnosed by mri, but in some patients may require a spinal tap or other specialized studies. These tests may include optical coherence tomography (oct) or visual evoked potentials (ver or veps). Symtoms include numbness and tingling usually on one side of the body starting in the hands and toes and progressing proximally. Weakness in the same distribution. Painful visual loss. Read more...
MRI/story/exam. Ms is diagnosed with MRI brain and c-spine, history and exam. My symptoms were numbess and fatigue. Read more...
Excellent question. Subtle problems early on can be very misleading and indeed, can confuse docs. Some common early signs include loss of vision in one eye, weakness in legs or arms, electrical shocks on flexing neck, gait imbalance or incoordination, numbness or tingling, vague persistent fatigue, even confusion or disorientation. MRI's are commonly helpful, but spinal tap may be necessary. Read more...

How do brain lesions diagnose multiple sclerosis, Lewy body dementia, etc?

Diagnosis/symptoms. Brain lesions are the actual physical changes in the structure of the brain or individual cells of the brain that account for the psychiatric symptoms we may see, for example tangles and plaques in alzheimer's disease that cause clinical symptoms like memory loss or mood/personality changes. Some brain lesions are found on imaging, like a ct or MRI scan, while others requires microscopic exam. Read more...
It's what makes. Up the lesions that tell us what we are dealing with. Read more...
LBD Clinical only. Neurodegenerative, progressive d/o with  milder physical parkinsonism than parkinson's disease typically. (slowed movements, stiff/rigid muscles & posture, possibly resting tremor). But with early dementia, often with associated psychosis (visual hallucinations/delusional thoughts, excessive sleepiness, depression, anxiety, apathy, & rbd=rem behavior d/o, causing acting-out of dreams in rem sleep. Read more...
Use of MRI testing. The brain lesions in MS are seen within white matter in particular patterns, and different lesion ages can confirm MS. Lewy body dementia is more difficult to diagnose looking for specific lesions and PET scan with decreased occipital lobe metabolism can confirm. Likewise, PET can show specific patterns for fronto-temporal and Alzheimer's dementias. Read more...

How difficult is to diagnosed Multiple Sclerosis?

Sometimes. Typically, diagnosis will involve a history and physical by a neurologist, testing of your spinal fluid, and MR imaging of your brain and spinal cord. Sometimes, the results can be inconclusive. Read more...
Varies. No two MS pts are the same. However, an experienced neurologist can become suspicious of certain symptom patterns, and an MRI of brain can be diagnostic. So, for we docs who have been around awhile, in most cases, we can pin down the diagnosis, but on occasion, serial MRI's are required, and could take several months. In essence, must exclude other disorders which masquerade as MS. Read more...

What are the means by which brain lesions diagnose multiple sclerosis?

MRI DATA. The diagnosis is certainly based on history and exam, but the MRI is also confirmatory. We discuss "dissemination in time", with lesions emerging and disappearing on serial studies. Also, "dissemination in space", with lesions in different parts of brain and/or spinal cord. Location of lesions are helpful. If there is indication of active inflammation, this prompts aggressive therapy. Read more...

Is ALS as difficult to diagnose as multiple sclerosis? Is there a definitive test for als?

ALS can be tricky. There is no specific test available to either rule in or out the diagnosis of als. There can definitely be mimickers of ALS and its diagnosis is not always that straightforward. It may take some time for all the clinical criteria to be met especially if it is early in the disease process. Read more...
May be challenging. ALS can be clearcut if involves arms and/or legs and demonstrates overt fasciculations associated with muscular atrophy, weakness, and brisk reflexes. A valuable test to confirm diagnosis is use of an EMG. Other testing may be of limited value to rule out alternative considerations. Read more...