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MS Progression: Multiple Sclerosis Functional Composite (MSFC)

The MSFC is a newer measurement system. It is sensitive to changes other than mobility. Although office staff can administer it, the MSFC takes more time to do, so it is currently used less in clinical practice and more for clinical trials. Computer-based tests are being developed, however, which may make it easier to use in the future.  

Here's what the MSFC measures:

  • Walking speed, using a timed 25-foot walk
  • Arm and hand dexterity, using a nine-hole peg test
  • Cognitive function, such as how well you can do math calculations, using the Paced Auditory Serial Additions Test (PASAT)


Other Measures of MS Disability

A wide range of other measures is used to assess multiple sclerosis disability. In many cases, these are simple questionnaires. For example, the Multiple Sclerosis Quality of Life questionnaire asks you questions about your:

  • Physical, cognitive, social, and sexual function
  • Limitations due to physical or emotional problems
  • Perceptions about your health
  • Pain
  • Energy
  • Overall quality of life
  • Emotional health

Other scales measure specific aspects of disability such as:

  • Bladder or bowel control
  • Visual impairment
  • Fatigue
  • Mental health
  • Pain

Additional tests may help with measuring MS progression in the future. Work closely with your neurologist to determine which tests are recommended.

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