Multiple Sclerosis – Diagnosis and ProgressionTo determine the presence of multiple sclerosis (MS) disease, various tests are performed. If MS is diagnosed, patients must learn to live with uncertainties about the course of the disease.
Since multiple sclerosis is associated with a wide variety of symptoms, it is not easy to make a clear diagnosis. Therefore, in addition to taking the medical history, a physical and neurological examination and a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are performed for the diagnosis. Nerve fluid, blood or urine are also examined to bring more clarity to the diagnosis.
MRI as a standard examination in suspected MS cases
Accordingly, various examinations are performed to establish a diagnosis. The description of the symptoms as well as the results of the physical examination and additional technical examinations are also taken into account. The Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is one of the standard examinations when MS is suspected. It can be used to visualize minimal changes in the brain and spinal cord caused by inflammation.
In order to confirm a suspected diagnosis of MS, neurology specialists arrange for an analysis of the cerebrospinal fluid (cerebrospinal fluid). For the so-called cerebrospinal fluid analysis, this fluid is taken from the lower part of the spine with a fine needle. This procedure is called lumbar puncture. In MS sufferers, this fluid shows changes that are indicative of Inflammatory processes in the central nervous system interpret and rule out other diseases such as Lyme disease.
Differentiating multiple sclerosis from other diseases
The differential diagnosis, i.e. the differentiation of multiple sclerosis from other diseases, comprises a large number of diseases. In addition to infectious diseases, other chronic inflammatory diseases must also be ruled out.
MS belongs to the demyelinating diseases, as the layer around the nerve fibers – the so-called myelin layer – is attacked and damaged. Therefore, other inflammatory-demyelinating diseases should also be considered at diagnosis. Metabolic diseases can also lead to similar symptoms. In particular, imaging findings such as those in multiple sclerosis result in.