Multiple Sclerosis Diagnosis

Symptoms of MS may mimic many other neurologic disorders. Diagnosis is made by ruling out other conditions.

A history of at least two attacks separated by a period of reduced or no symptoms may be a sign of relapsing-remitting MS.

If the health care provider can see decreases in any functions of the central nervous system (such as abnormal reflexes), a diagnosis of MS may be suspected.

A neurological exam may show localized decreases in nerve function. This may include decreased or abnormal sensation, decreased ability to move a part of the body, speech or vision changes, or other loss of neurologic functions. The type of neurologic deficit usually indicates the location of the damage to the nerves.

There may be a positive Babinski's reflex.

Eye examination may show abnormal pupil responses, changes in the visual fields or eye movements, rapid eye movements triggered by movement of the eye, decreased visual acuity , or problems with the internal structures of the eye.

Tests that indicate or confirm multiple sclerosis include: