How hard is it to get diagnosed with MS?
In most people with relapsing-remitting MS , the diagnosis is fairly straightforward and based on a pattern of symptoms consistent with the disease and confirmed by brain imaging scans, such as MRI. Diagnosing MS can be more difficult in people with unusual symptoms or progressive disease.
How is MS diagnosed officially?
An MRI scanner uses a strong magnetic field to create a detailed image of inside your brain and spinal cord. It’s very accurate and can pinpoint the exact location and size of any inflammation, damage or scarring (lesions). MRI scans confirm a diagnosis in over 90 per cent of people with MS.
Why does it take so long to get MS diagnosis?
This is all normal. Due to its complexity and variety of symptoms, MS is not easy to diagnose. Even when the process runs smoothly, it can take a long time to get to the bottom of what’s causing a complex condition. Different possible causes need to be checked out before a diagnosis is made.
How long can MS go undiagnosed?
Benign MS can’t be identified at the time of initial diagnosis; it can take as long as 15 years to diagnose. The course of MS is unpredictable, and having benign MS doesn’t mean that it can’t progress into a more severe form of MS.
What is the most common initial symptom of multiple sclerosis?
- Numbness or weakness in one or more limbs that typically occurs on one side of your body at a time, or your legs and trunk.
- Electric-shock sensations that occur with certain neck movements, especially bending the neck forward (Lhermitte sign)
- Tremor, lack of coordination or unsteady gait.
Can MS come on suddenly?
Symptoms. Most commonly, MS starts with a vague symptom that disappears completely within a few days or weeks. Symptoms can appear suddenly and then vanish for years after the first episode, or in some cases never reappear. The symptoms of MS vary greatly and can range from mild to severe.