MS detection cannot be completed with one definitive test. Rather, it is by conducting a series of tests that medical professionals are able to accomplish multiple sclerosis detection.

Like a number of diseases, MS takes some time and effort to diagnose because there are a number of other diseases that resemble it in presentation. In order to avoid misdiagnosing multiple sclerosis or one of these diseases, it is therefore important for medical doctors to undertake diagnosis through a multistep process of elimination and confirmation. This is very important as misdiagnosis would ultimately lead to failure to treat whatever condition a patient actually had.


The Details of MS Detection


Some of the diseases that can resemble multiple sclerosis in presentation include various neurological disorders and other conditions that have a pronounced impact on nervous function. Lupus and Lyme disease are both conditions that affect the nervous system, often provoking similar symptoms to MS. Multiple strokes can produce injury in the brain that is reminiscent of multiple sclerosis lesions, at least in the variety of symptoms  it provokes. A brain infection can also have the same effect.

An additional condition that can induce MS-like symptoms is vitamin deficiency, especially vitamin B12 deficiency. Vitamin B12 is involved in the maintenance of healthy nervous tissue, and any patients who are not meeting their dietary needs of B12 often see the repercussions in their nervous function. They may experience the paresthesia that is associated with multiple sclerosis and other nervous disorders. They may also experience cognitive dysfunction, and weakness and exhaustion. The latter two symptoms can be attributed to the fact that severe B12 deficiency results in pernicious anemia.

All of these possible alternative diagnoses underline the importance of taking time to do the necessary tests to confirm or eliminate multiple sclerosis. If it turns out that a patient has B12 deficiency rather than MS, then treatment is bound to be easier, quicker and less expensive. If the diagnosis ends up being Lyme disease, then treatment is as simple as getting patients to take the right dose of antibiotics over the appropriate period of time.

A good doctor undertakes some basic steps in the process of MS detection, thus minimizing, but not completely eliminating, the possibility of misdiagnosis. For one, the doctor takes a detailed medical history of the patient. Doing so will establish whether the patient has a cluster of MS-like symptoms that indicate nervous tissue lesions and whether the said patient has experienced at least 2 episodes lasting an entire day and at least a month apart. MRI scans are often the ultimate in multiple sclerosis detection as they help doctors who have uncovered an MS-like condition to determine whether the patient has brain lesions.