There's no single test that can prove you have it. And many conditions have symptoms that seem like those of MS. A neurologist – a doctor who specializes in treating the disease – should be able to help. They'll ask how you're feeling and help you figure out if your symptoms mean you have MS or another problem.
There are no specific tests for MS . Instead, a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis often relies on ruling out other conditions that might produce similar signs and symptoms, known as a differential diagnosis. Your doctor is likely to start with a thorough medical history and examination.
MS is diagnosed by your neurologist. They will use a specific checklist to diagnose MS, known as the McDonald criteria. They'll carry out a number of tests to run through the criteria, which could include blood tests and MRI.
If you are worried that you have symptoms of MS, it is important to consult a health professional so that you can get the correct diagnosis. There is no definitive test for MS and diagnosis will involve considering the various symptoms and ruling out other explanations. This process can take some time.
People should consider the diagnosis of MS if they have one or more of these symptoms: vision loss in one or both eyes. acute paralysis in the legs or along one side of the body. acute numbness and tingling in a limb.
Fatigue. Occurs in about 80% of people, can significantly interfere with the ability to function at home and work, and may be the most prominent symptom in a person who otherwise has minimal activity limitations.
Here's where MS (typically) starts
Although a number of MS symptoms can appear early on, two stand out as occurring more often than others: Optic neuritis, or inflammation of the optic nerve, is usually the most common, Shoemaker says. You may experience eye pain, blurred vision and headache.
How long can MS go undiagnosed? MS is usually diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, but it can go undetected for years. In fact, a 2021 study suggested that many people with MS experience disease symptoms several years before being officially diagnosed with the disease.
Some people may have symptoms of the condition and not even know it. Most people find out they have MS after they have an MRI. It's rare, but doctors sometimes do something called a lumbar puncture to confirm the condition. That's when doctors take out some fluid around the spinal cord and examine it.
In order to make an MS diagnosis, the physician must: Find evidence of damage in at least two separate areas of the central nervous system (CNS), which includes the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves AND. Find evidence that the damage occurred at different points in time AND. Rule out all other possible diagnoses.
Vision problems, like blurred or double vision. Dizziness and a lack of coordination. Trouble walking, feeling unsteady, a loss of balance.
To be diagnosed with MS, a person must show clear evidence of these lesions. An MRI is the gold standard for detecting MS lesions, although some lesions do not show up on MRI scans — for example, some may be too small to be clearly seen through this technique.
Some conditions that doctors may commonly misdiagnose as MS include migraine, RIS, spondylopathy, and neuropathy. To accurately diagnose MS, doctors must rule out conditions with similar symptoms and look for signs and symptoms specific to MS. As such, the process of diagnosing MS may be lengthy and complex.
There is no single test for multiple sclerosis. Second, the diagnosis cannot be made until the healthcare provider finds evidence of two episodes of disease activity in different locations in the central nervous system that have occurred at different points in time.
Unfortunately, anxiety causes many of the same symptoms as the early stages of MS. MS is one of the health issues that comes up most when those with anxiety search for their symptoms online, and millions of those with anxiety convince themselves that they might have MS.
Most symptoms develop abruptly, within hours or days. These attacks or relapses of MS typically reach their peak within a few days at most and then resolve slowly over the next several days or weeks so that a typical relapse will be symptomatic for about eight weeks from onset to recovery.
While MS is not contagious or hereditary, MS susceptibility is increased if a family member has MS. The average risk of developing MS in the United States is roughly 3.5 in 1,000, or less than half of one percent. For first-degree relatives (such as a child or sibling), the risk increases to three or four percent.
That's not the case with multiple sclerosis (MS); while some people with the disease may be only mildly impacted over years or even decades, others may lose their ability to walk, speak, or swallow over time.
Some people are told they have benign MS. The term benign MS is sometimes used to describe a version of relapsing remitting MS with very mild or no attacks separated by long periods with no symptoms.
A person will only receive a diagnosis of benign MS if they have been without severe disabling symptoms of the disease for 15 years. However, this does not mean that a person cannot experience a relapse after this time and see their disease progress into a more severe form.
Only a small percentage of people with MS receive their diagnosis after age 50. In some cases, these people have late-onset MS. But for some, the diagnosis represents a delayed identification of years — or even decades — of unrecognized symptoms.
This is related to hundreds of billions of dollars a year in additional health care costs. With MS, when you don't stay with your treatment, there's the chance that the disease will continue unchecked. That means your immune system can go on causing inflammation and damage in your central nervous system.
Early MS symptoms may include blurred vision, numbness, dizziness, muscle weakness, and coordination issues. MS is progressive and can worsen over time. Eventually, the disease can do damage directly to the nerves, causing permanent disability.
MS is an immune-mediated disease affecting the brain and spinal cord, also called the central nervous system (CNS). MS can appear at any age but most commonly manifests between the ages of 20 and 40.