how is ms diagnosed
21 Oct 06
MS is a disease of the central nervous system. The central nervous system consists of the brain, spinal cord, and the optic nerves. Surrounding and protecting the nerve fibers (or axons) of the central nervous system is a fatty tissue called myelin, which helps nerve fibers conduct electrical impulses. Laboratory tests may be the crucial element of the diagnosis process. The preferred test, which detects plaques or scarring possibly caused by MS, is magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The MRI scan is a diagnostic tool that currently offers the most sensitive non-invasive way of imaging the brain. Unlike Computerized Tomography (CT) or conventional X-ray, the MRI scan does not use radiation. Instead, it uses magnetism and radio waves. Powerful magnetic fields interact with the hydrogen atoms found in the water contained in all body tissues and fluids. Radio frequency signals cause these hydrogen atoms to release energy, and computers translate the changes into cross-sectional images. The scanning procedure is very sensitive, and can often create pictures of lesions, or areas of damage, that would be missed by a CT scan. Although the absence of radiation is an asset, the powerful magnetic field of MRI means that it can't be used by people who have cardiac pacemakers or metal implants, such as aneurysm clips, in their bodies. Dental fillings cause no problem. An abnormal MRI does not necessarily mean MS. There are other diseases that cause lesions in the brain that look like those caused by MS. There are also spots found in healthy individuals, particularly in older persons, which are not related to any ongoing disease process. These are often called UBOs, for unidentified bright objects. On the other hand, a normal MRI does not absolutely rule out MS. About 5% of people who are confirmed to have MS on the basis of other criteria, do not show any lesions in the brain on MRI. These people may have lesions in the spinal cord or may have lesions that cannot be detected by MRI. A clear-cut diagnosis might be made based on an evaluation of symptoms, signs, and the results of an MRI, but additional tests may be ordered as well. These include tests of evoked potential, cerebrospinal fluid, and blood.
• Croatia (Hrvatska)
20 Oct 06
yes, mri - magnetic resonance image, neurologist exam and examining of ur reflexis, movements of arms, eyes checking, and making complete picture from symptoms which person have. there are many similar symptoms for different health problems, but if brain and neck spine mri showing some changes then for sure mri can be diagnosed.
• United States
20 Oct 06
One of the symptoms is progressive loss of fine motor functions so if you are noticing that you are having trouble picking up small things that might be a symptom but you should go to the doctor to be sure.
10 Mar 07
The only tests I had before diagnosis were brain MRI without gadolinium and evoked potentials as well as doctor's exam. It did however take 4 neuros before I got my diagnosis and it took a year. But many I have known have goen years and years and had to have spinal taps more intense MRI's with gadolinium etc... Many people with MS first have visual irregularities and they're forwarded to a neurologist often after having optic neuritis. Then there are those who have muscle issues to start with... for my I lost use beyond walking and some easy dancing with my legs no more running skipping hopping or jumping! My neuro told me those who start with the visual things usually have better outcomes those with muscle issues to start usually have a harder time of it. I don't know the truth of that but I know I've been goign through hell for quite a while. However I now appreciate life more than ever and am fighting harder than EVER before against it!