Diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- MRI scan —This test uses magnetic and radio waves to check for damage to the myelin sheath of the nerves in the brain and spinal cord. A contrast substance may be used to help doctors identify damaged areas. MRI may also be used to track changes in the disease.
- Evoked responses—This test records the speed of the electrical responses in sensory, visual, or auditory nerves after a repeated sensory stimulus. This test can help identify abnormal areas affected by MS. Visual evoked potential tests are most often used in evaluating MS.
- Lumbar puncture (spinal tap) —In this procedure, a small amount of fluid from around the spinal cord is removed and checked for white blood cells, antibodies, and proteins. Doctors look for abnormal changes associated with MS.
Multiple sclerosis. Access Medicine website. Available at: http://www.accessmedicine.com.ezp-prod1.hul.harvard.edu/quickam.aspx . Accessed March 12, 2010.
Multiple sclerosis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php . Updated July 13, 2011. Accessed August 8, 2011.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/ .
National Multiple Sclerosis Society website. Available at: http://nationalmssociety.org/ .
- Reviewer: Rimas Lukas, MD
- Review Date: 09/2013 -
- Update Date: 09/30/2013 -
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