Multiple Sclerosis

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Multiple sclerosis (MS) is defined as an inflammatory demyelinating disease characterized by the presence of episodic neurologic dysfunction in at least 2 areas of the CNS (brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves) separated in time and space. Today there is no one single test that can determine whether or not an individual has multiple sclerosis, and the criteria used to diagnose the condition are often less than perfect. Often, it takes the expertise of a specialist in MS to make a correct diagnosis, and it is estimated that as many as 10% of those with the condition actually have another ailment. An accurate diagnosis of multiple sclerosis is based on your medical history and a neurological exam (an exam of the function of the brain and spinal cord) using various tests. A lot depends on the skill of the doctor in asking the right questions to uncover information and to properly evaluate the signs and symptoms of a malfunctioning brain or spinal cord. A variety of specialized procedures are helpful in accurately diagnosing MS. These include imaging techniques, such as MRI, spinal taps or lumbar punctures (examination of the cerebrospinal fluid that runs through the spinal column), evoked potentials (electrical tests to help determine if MS has affected a person's nerve pathways), and lab analysis of blood samples. Accepted Criteria for a Diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis: Multiple sclerosis usually begins between 20 and 50 years of age; Symptoms and signs indicating disease of the brain or spinal cord; Evidence of two or more lesions, or abnormal areas on the brain, from a MRI scan; Objective evidence of disease of the brain or spinal cord on doctor's exam; Two or more episodes lasting at least 24 hours and occurring at least one month apart; No other explanation for the symptoms.

Symptoms:

Laboratory Test Procedures:

numbness or tingling in the face
numbness or tingling in the hands
numbness or tingling in the feet
numbness
pain, numbness, weakness or coldness in legs or arms
weak hand grip
blindness
temporary loss of vision
eye pain
blurred vision
double vision
pain
electric-shock sensations that occur with certain head movements
hand tremor
trembling
loss of balance
unsteady walking
easy fatigue
fatigue
lightheadedness

WBC
Neutrophil %
Neutrophil Absolute
Lymphocyte %
Lymphocyte Absolute
Monocyte %
Monocyte Absolute
Eosinophil %
Eosinophil Absolute
Basophil %
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