Diagnostic Testing

According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, there is no single diagnostic test available to identify or rule out MS.

Several tests and procedures are commonly used, depending on the individual patient, including: 

  • Medical history: An overall view of the individual's health picture, including symptoms and when they began.
  • Neurological examination: Reflexes, balance, strength, coordination, vision and sensation.
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): a noninvasive diagnostic tool used to identify and treat various medical conditions. These exams provide unparalleled views of internal body structures including the organs, soft tissues and bone, which cannot be seen using conventional X-rays or CT scans.
  • Spinal tap: Checks the spinal fluid for certain forms of inflammation. 
  • Visual evoked potentials: Tests that measure how quickly and accurately a person’s visual system responds to stimulation.


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