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Relapsing MS Diagnosis

How your doctor determines if you have relapsing MS1,2

Relapsing MS is a complicated disease to diagnose. Many RRMS and CIS symptoms are similar to those caused by other conditions and may come and go, especially early in the course of relapsing MS.

Your physician, usually a neurologist, will take a number of factors into consideration when diagnosing relapsing MS. The starting point: a complete medical history, a neurological exam, and test results.

Your doctor may order an MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, to take highly detailed images of your brain and spinal cord in order to determine if you have the lesions typical of relapsing MS.

No single test can provide a positive diagnosis of MS1-3

When diagnosing MS, healthcare providers will look at a combination of factors and tests, which may include:

  • Changes in your strength and reflexes
  • Your responses to touch, sound, and other senses
  • The number of flare-ups, or attacks, you have over a period of time
  • The number and types of lesions that can be seen on an MRI
  • Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis
  • “Evoked potentials” test

Your doctor will also screen you for other conditions that may have similar symptoms to MS, such as Lyme disease.2

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