By: Researcher Taymur
Understanding Multiple Sclerosis
A chronic, progressive autoimmune condition affecting the central nervous system is multiple sclerosis (MS). MS develops when the myelin is damaged by the immune system that protects the spinal cord and brain nerve fibers. This is called demyelination, which creates problems in interaction between the nerves and the brain. It may eventually damage the nerves.
At present, the cause of multiple sclerosis is unclear. Genetic and environmental factors can play a role, it’s thought. There is currently no cure for MS, although the symptoms may be reduced by treatments.
However it can be difficult to diagnose multiple sclerosis; there is no single test that can diagnose this. Because, a diagnosis usually requires several tests in order to rule out other disorders with similar symptoms. Therefore once the doctor has done a physical examination, because if they believe you may have MS, they will probably order some different tests.
Understanding MS Blood Tests
Blood tests are likely to be part of the initial workup if your doctor believes you may have MS. Usually, blood tests may not result in a definite MS diagnosis, but other conditions may be omitted.
- Lyme disease
- rare hereditary disorders
Understanding MS MRI Tests
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is the test of choice in combination with initial blood tests for MS diagnosis. MRIs use radio waves and magnetic fields to measure the relative amount of liquid in the body’s tissues. We are able to detect normal and abnormal tissues and identify abnormalities.
MRIs provide detailed and sensitive brain and spinal cord images. These are far less invasive than X-rays and CT scans, both of which use radiation.
Understanding Lumbar Puncture Tests
Therefore Lumbar puncture, also known as a spinal tap, is sometimes used in the treatment of MS. Because a sample of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) will be collected for examination. So the punctures of the lumbar are considered invasive. However in the lower back, between the vertebrae, and in the spinal canal, a needle is inserted during the operation. So the CSF specimen will be obtained for analysis by this hollow instrument.
So usually a spinal tap takes about 30 minutes and a local anesthetic is given to you. Because, the patient is told to rest with their spine bent to their side. After the area has been cleaned and a local anesthetic has been given, the hollow needle will be injected into the spinal canal by a doctor to remove one to two CSF tablespoons. There’s usually no special preparation. You may be asked to stop taking thinners from the blood.
Understanding Evoked Potential Tests
Evoked potential (EP) tests measure the brain’s electrical activity in response to stimuli such as sound, touch, or vision. That type of stimulus evokes minute electrical signals that can be analyzed to track activity in certain areas of the brain by the electrodes mounted on the scalp. Three forms of EP tests are valid. The most widely used for diagnosing MS is the visual evoked response (VER or VEP).
However we will check for abnormal communication that is present along the optic nerve pathways if doctors order an EP examination. Because in most MS cases, this usually happens fairly early. However, other eye or retinal disorders must be excluded before concluding that abnormal VERs are due to MS.
However there is no need for training to take an EP exam. Sp you will sit in front of a screen during the test, which has an alternating pattern of checkerboard on it. Because one eye at a time you may be asked to cover. Therefore active concentration is required, but it is safe and non-invasive. BecaIf you are wearing glasses, ask your doctor if you should bring them in advance.
Understanding Other Under Development Tests
However medical knowledge is progressing at all times. Because as technology moves forward and our knowledge of MS, doctors may find new tests to make the process of MS diagnosis easier.
However a blood test is currently being developed to detect biomarkers associated with MS. So this test may not be able to diagnose MS on its own, it may help doctors assess risk factors and make diagnosis a little easier.
Therefore MS diagnosis can be frustrating and time consuming at the moment. So nevertheless, symptoms that are accompanied by MRIs or other test findings combined with removing other possible causes that help to clarify the diagnosis.
However when you have MS-like symptoms, make a doctor appointment. So the sooner you are treated, the early care can be received, which can help relieve symptoms of distress.