MS examination is the process by which people are examined to determine whether they have MS. A multiple sclerosis examination is designed to prevent patients from being misdiagnosed. However, it does not always succeed in doing so. This is because some tests are not always accurate. Additionally, some patients may be exceptional in one way or another, resulting in their atypical responses to the tests.


There’s Room for Error in the MS Examination


Like other diagnostic processes, MS examination is not 100% accurate. There is room for error in this multistep process to determine a patient’s neurological status. Because of these numerous steps, there are a larger number of opportunities for doctors to make errors. For instance, right at the beginning of the multiple sclerosis examination, when the doctor is questioning the patient about his or her medical history, if the doctor fails to ask the correct questions, then it is relatively easy for important information about the patient’s condition to fall by the wayside.

A number of MS symptoms do not immediately suggest multiple sclerosis to the average person who is experiencing them. The person may dismiss them as flu symptoms, as simple exhaustion, or as being caused by some other medical issue. Thus, if the doctor’s questions are not probing enough to unearth every single symptom that a patient has experienced, the patient may end up giving the doctor an abridged history of his or her health.

Patients make active decisions about what information to share with their doctors, and what information to keep to themselves. This is a normal process and the patient may not necessarily be aware that he or she is doing it. Additionally, doctors have been known to do something similar: having been given a detailed medical history by a patient, they may respond by determining some details to be insignificant. This is often the case when doctors already have a diagnosis in mind, even as they go through the steps of examining the patient.

If the doctors are invested in the correctness of that diagnosis, then they may easily dismiss as irrelevant those symptoms that do not fit it. Sometimes doctors have to do this in the interests of saving time and treating a patient for a rapidly-progressing condition. However, if the condition is relatively slow to progress, and if misdiagnosis can set the patient up for a lifetime of agony, it is important for doctors to take their time and do the testing properly. If necessary, they should repeat tests for greater accuracy or consider more accurate tests.