Multiple Sclerosis is an unpredictable disease of the central nervous system. It is usually diagnosed by a neurologist after an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) of the brain and/or the spinal chord. The MRI will show lesions both old and "active" ones which will be lit up. However no single test can conclusively diagnose Multiple Sclerosis. Other diseases must first be ruled out for a provider to make a diagnosis.
What are the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis?
Multiple Sclerosis is very difficult to diagnose because a plethora of symptoms can occur in a person and no two people present with the same symptoms. There do tend to be some common ones amongst patients.
The most common symptoms are:
-Walking Difficulties (gait)
-Numbness in face, body, arms or legs
-Spasticity (stiffness, muscle spasms, etc.)
-Bladder or Bowel problems
-Dizziness or vertigo
-Pain and itching
-Depression or emotional changes
Less common issues are swallowing, tremors, speech problems, seizures, breathing problems and hearing loss.
More information can be found at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society website.