How is multiple sclerosis (MS) diagnosed?

Updated: Oct 08, 2019
  • Author: Christopher Luzzio, MD; Chief Editor: Jasvinder Chawla, MD, MBA  more...
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MS is diagnosed on the basis of clinical findings and supporting evidence from ancillary tests, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain and cerebrospinal fluid examination. (See Workup.) Traditionally, MS could not be diagnosed after only a single symptomatic episode, as diagnosis required the occurrence of repeat clinical attacks suggesting the appearance of lesions separated in time and space; however, recent guidelines allow diagnosis of MS even with a first clinical episode as long as ancillary tests support separation of lesions in time or space.

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