Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an auto immune system disorder that affects the central nervous system. In MS, the immune system attacks the protective myelin sheath covering nerve fibers leading to disruption of conduction of nerve signals. This leads to interference in communication between the brain and the rest of the body.
Early diagnosis is important since treatment can slow down the progress of the disease. It is a challenge for the doctors to diagnose multiple sclerosis. No single test is confirmatory of this condition and it must be differentially diagnosed from other medical conditions.
Investigations recommended for evaluation include
1. MRI -Widespread use of MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) has revolutionized the ability to diagnose multiple sclerosis. The characteristic plagues of MS will confirm the diagnosis. The location of the plagues will determine the symptoms.
Spinal tap – The results of a spinal tap test can prove to be very helpful in enabling the doctors to see whether the patient’s body’s immune system is attacking itself Antibodies associated with MS may be identified.
Evoked potential tests – These tests map electrical activity in portions of the brain, which evaluates nerve signal transmission.
VNG– findings like the ocular flutter spontaneous nystagmus, hyperventilation-induced nystagmus or direction changing nystagmus can assist in the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis.