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How Multiple Sclerosis Is Diagnosed

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Electrical tests of your nerves, called evoked potentials, can help doctors confirm if the condition has affected the parts of your brain that help you see, hear, and feel. Your doctor will place wires on your scalp to test your brain's response as you watch a pattern on a video screen, hear a series of clicks, or get electrical pulses on your arm or leg.

Your doctor may check your blood to help rule out conditions that can look like MS. It’s not possible, though, to diagnose the disease with a blood test.

After a Diagnosis

Getting an MS diagnosis can be a lengthy process. When some people finally learn they have the condition after months or years of symptoms, they take the news as something of a relief. For others, it can be shocking. Either way, you’ll probably have concerns about what the disease means for your life and your family. That's completely understandable.

Talk with others -- your friends, your doctor, a support group, or a counselor -- about how you’re feeling. Your health care team can help you decide on the best ways to treat your disease and live with it day to day. MS affects everyone differently, so what one person with the condition feels may not be what will happen to you.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Neil Lava, MD on September 03, 2014
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