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Multiple Sclerosis Centers of Excellence

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Diagnosing Multiple Sclerosis

The diagnosis of MS can only be made after an extensive evaluation and is not based on one specific physical finding, laboratory test or symptom. The diagnosis of MS is often difficult and may take time. The symptoms of MS can come and go, and symptoms are not the same for every person. A Health Care Provider will take a clinical history and perform a physical examination. Although many of the symptoms cannot be seen on examination, there are specific guidelines that have been developed to help a Health Care Provider (usually a Neurologist) make the diagnosis of MS. Additional testing may be necessary, including imaging (an MRI) of the head and neck, blood tests, spinal fluid analysis, and visual tests. The VA is committed to providing our Veterans the specialized testing needed to establish an accurate diagnosis of MS.

Articles

Multiple Sclerosis: A Therapeutic Overview
Mark H. J. Litzinger, BSc, BSc Pharm, RPh-
University of Hawaii at Hilo
Monica Litzinger, BSc, BSc Pharm, RPh-Community Pharmacist, Hilo, Hawaii
 

Diagnosing MS Using the McDonald Criteria
James Bowen, MD, Medical Director, Multiple Sclerosis Center
Swedish Neuroscience Institute, Seattle, WA
 

Determination of MS Subtypes 
James Bowen, MD, Medical Director, Multiple Sclerosis Center
Swedish Neuroscience Institute, Seattle, WA
 

Using MRI to Diagnose MS
Christopher T. Bever, Jr., MD, MBA
VA Medical Center, Baltimore, MD

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Used In MS
Christine Martin, PhD
Baltimore, MD

The Evolution of the Multiple Sclerosis Lesion
MSCOE Staff

Kurtzke Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS)
Marsha L Tarver, PhD
VA Puget Sound Health Care System--Seattle

Definition and Diagnosing MS Acute Attacks 
James Bowen, MD, Medical Director, Multiple Sclerosis Center 
Swedish Neuroscience Institute, Seattle, WA

MS Self-report Questionnaires: Fatigue and Sexual Function
Marsha L Tarver, PhD
VA Puget Sound Health Care System--Seattle

What is Transverse Myelitis?
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, Maryland