The diagnosis of multiple sclerosis is not easy; there is no specific test to confirm the diagnosis. The definitive diagnosis of the disease can take weeks, months or even years.
First, it is necessary to exclude other medical conditions or diseases that can cause similar symptoms such as inflammation of blood vessels, brain injuries, vitamin deficiency or meningitis.
The diagnostic management begins with a thorough history taking into account the patient’s symptoms.
· Neurological tests: tests of motor skills and sensitivity, examination of the optic nerve, coordination of the extremities, balance test, skin sensitivity, language, reflexes.
· MRI examination can detect lesions and scar tissue caused by chronic inflammation in the brain and spinal cord.
· Examination of cerebrospinal fluid.
· Specific tests of nerve pathways
Definitive diagnosis is based on the assembly of several pieces of the puzzle: the more elements that overlap, the greater the likelihood of multiple sclerosis is high.
The intensity of disability and disease progression are determined using a specific scale: Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS).