The process of discovering that you have Multiple Sclerosis usually starts with a visit to the doctor after first experiencing an attack. The Lumbar Puncture Multiple Sclerosis procedure usually comes at some point later as part of the process of diagnosis.

That first episode you go to the doctor about is known as the CIS, or Clinically Isolated Syndrome.  Not everyone who has a CIS will develop MS, but it is usually the first MS related visit a patient has to a medical facility regarding the disease.  It is not easy to diagnose at all.    The Lumbar Puncture MS test is usually closer to the end of the diagnosis process, and can be used as a final confirmation.


The MS diagnosis process


Conventional Medical Wisdom has it that the following conditions are met to be able to diagnose Multiple Sclerosis:

  1. There has to be evidence of nerve damage in the Central Nervous System in at least two different and separate areas – like spinal, optic, brain, etc.
  2. The damage found has to have occurred in at least two separate episodes, occurring at minimum one month apart.
  3. There can be no evidence found that the nerve damage may have been caused by anything else.

The patients medical history will be examined, past and present drug use will be reviewed (both legal and illegal), neurological exams will be given, MRI scans will be ordered, and often a spinal tap, or Lumbar Puncture Multiple Sclerosis fluid test will be used as a confirmation.


What is a Lumbar Puncture MS test?


The Spinal tap is a procedure to collect cerebrospinal fluid to check for diseases, infections, or diseases.  A large needle is inserted between the 3rd and 4th vertebrae in the lumbar, or lower, spinal area.  It needs to be precisely positioned between the spinal cord itself and the meninges, which is the membrane that covers the spinal cord.  Pressure is measured and fluid is extracted into the syringe through the needle.  This is usually painful and sometimes done under mild sedation.  MS patient’s spinal fluid will contain high immunoglobulin G (IgG) levels along with microscopic pieces of myelin.  This indicates an autoimmune disease is present.  And along with the tests previously mentioned, is usually enough to confirm or rule out Multiple Sclerosis.  You will hear many horror stories about how painful these spinal taps are, but you should allow it to be done to help confirm your diagnosis as early as possible for the most effective treatment.