How MS Is Diagnosed With Dr. Mitzi Joi Williams (Video)
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So MS is diagnosed by a couple of different things. So it’s a combination of the person’s history, um, the symptoms that they report to their doctor, their physical exam, and also imaging such as MRI.
So a person has to have a typical history of symptoms that are like multiple sclerosis, which include let’s say numbness or tingling that lasted for several weeks and improved. Sometimes they’ll have vision loss that came on and lasted for a while and improved. And then in combination with that, we usually do MRIs of the brain and of the spinal cord, which show us lesions or white spots.
Those white spots that we see on MRI are the areas where the immune system has damaged the nerves. And so when that Milan is removed, it shows up white. And so that’s what your doctor is looking at or that’s what the doctor looks at when they look at those MRI scans.
So we have to have a combination of symptoms plus MRI abnormalities to diagnose MS. So a person that only has symptoms we don’t necessarily diagnose in that case. And in a person who only has MRI changes and doesn’t have symptoms, also doesn’t necessarily have MS.
There are some times other tests that we can do including a lumbar puncture or spinal tap and some blood tests that we have to do to rule out other diseases because there are vitamin deficiencies that can mimic MS. And also there are other rheumatologic conditions that can mimic MS. So we are not only looking at