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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

Diagnosing MS Using the McDonald Criteria
Determination of MS Subtypes
MS Self-report Questionnaires: Fatigue and Sexual Function
Kurtzke Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS)