Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

MS Progression: Disease Steps (DS)

This is a simple way to measure MS disability, mainly based on your ability to walk. Doctors use it as a way to know when to begin therapy and to tell how you are responding to therapy. Scores range from 0, which is normal, to 6, which means you are unable to walk at all.

To establish the rating, you walk 25 feet. In addition, the doctor takes a medical history and performs both physical and neurological exams. Altogether, the time needed to create the rating is no more than about 30 minutes.

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:

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

Signs of MS Relapse

Can you recognize an MS relapse? Get the facts to help you cope.
View slideshow