Friday, April 3, 2009

How Is MS Diagnosed?

You know that something is not right and your doctor has referred you to a specialist. Your next step is to Consult with a Neurologist.

The Neurologist
A neurologist is a medical doctor or osteopath who has trained in the diagnosis and treatment of nervous system disorders, including diseases of the brain, spinal cord, nerves, and muscles.

The Initial Appointment
Prepare in advance for your first visit to the neurologist. Compile a summary (or chronology) of your illness (and other diagnoses) which should include:
§ When did symptoms begin? What symptoms did you have at the beginning?
§ What brought on the symptoms or made them worse?
§ What other symptoms have occurred? When did they occur?
§ What tests have been done? What were the results?
§ What medications have you taken? What were the results of the treatment?
§ List all current medications and the dose you are currently taking.

Symptoms to Consider
§ Changes in Vision
§ Vertigo
§ Weakness and/or numbness in arms/hands/legs/feet
§ Coordination problems in arms or legs
§ Balance problem
§ Trouble walking or falling
§ Speech problems
§ Memory loss/cognitive problems
§ Confusion/hallucinations
§ Decreased attention/concentration
§ Poor judgement/reasoning
§ Depression/anxiety
§ Fatigue (constant or intermittent)
§ Bladder or Bowel problems
§ Sexual dysfunction

The questions and list of possible symptoms listed above come directly from my own neurologist's New MS Patient Form (pdf) at the Neurology Center of Fairfax.  For more information regarding diagnostic criteria, please visit the National MS Society's page on Diagnosing MS or review Diagnostic Criteria for Multiple Sclerosis: 2010 Revisions to the McDonald Criteria published in Annals of Neurology (2011;69:292-302).

Read this post in its entirety:

Beginner's Guide to MS: Do I Have MS? What Does It Take To Get Diagnosed With MS?

Late updated: Feb 4, 2012

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