Before conducting a neurological examination for
multiple sclerosis (MS), the doctor will collect
information about your symptoms. The kinds of symptoms, as well as how and when
they occur, are important in evaluating whether you might have MS. Even
symptoms that you might have had several years ago can be important.
How to handle workplace issues when you have
Elissa Levy, a 37-year-old with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis
(MS), is living proof of the unpredictability of this progressive neurological
disease that affects the central nervous system.
Soon after being diagnosed in January 2002, her physical status plummeted
quickly. The former fitness buff who regularly skied and jogged describes the
overwhelming MS-induced fatigue that plagued her almost daily. "Sometimes
The neurological history and examination may take as long as 2
hours but usually take 1 hour or less.
Why It Is Done
A brief neurological examination is part of any complete physical
examination. If you report symptoms that suggest a problem with the nervous
system, the doctor may do a more thorough neurological exam. Such an exam will
always be done if you have symptoms that suggest MS.
Findings on the neurological exam may include the following.
All tested functions are within normal ranges.
Abnormal findings may include evidence of nervous system
abnormalities, such as weakness, blindness, coordination or balance problems,
or changes in sensation.
What To Think About
Because MS lesions (injured or inflamed nerve tissues) may be found
in several locations on the brain and spinal cord, symptoms can vary greatly.
Some lesions may not cause signs or symptoms that the doctor can evaluate
during an exam. Other tests may be needed to help make the diagnosis,
especially when there is a history of several attacks.