Multiple Sclerosis Centers of Excellence
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.
MSCoE Patient Consultation
VA healthcare providers can request a patient consultation from MSCoE for Veterans who are enrolled in VA health care benefits. To do so, please send an e-mail to MSCentersofExcellence@va.gov for information on how an e-consult request can be submitted. Or, please call Lani Pitofsky at 206-277-6079.
- Diagnosing MS Using the McDonald Criteria
- Determination of MS Subtypes
- MS Self-Report Questionnaires: Fatigue and Sexual Function
- Kurtzke Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS)
For Additional Information
- 2017 Proposed Revised Guidelines of the Consortium of MS Centers MRI Protocol for the Diagnosis and Follow-up of MS
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