Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Diagnosis
Multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms can be similar to other problems, such as migraines, which is why diagnosing the disease can be tricky. Our Cedars-Sinai experts can detect early symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS) that are often easy to miss.
We accurately diagnose your symptoms so you can receive the treatments that slow the progression of the disease. Our expertise allows us to tailor treatments to protect you from side effects and avoid unnecessary medication.
Protecting Your Well-Being With an Accurate MS Diagnosis
Research conducted at Cedars-Sinai reveals that almost one in five people with MS symptoms don't have MS. And taking MS medications that you don't need can bring side effects such as headaches that disrupt your daily life.
We combine the latest techniques with decades of experience for an accurate MS diagnosis. Read more about diagnosing multiple sclerosis accurately.
Our Approach to Multiple Sclerosis Diagnosis
We perform a thorough assessment, even if you received an evaluation elsewhere and are seeking a second opinion. We conduct a new set of imaging studies and take time to get to know you and your symptoms. Our careful approach allows us to create a personalized treatment plan that's tailored to your needs.
Our approach includes:
Our doctors completed additional fellowship training in MS care. One of our doctors also specializes in brain imaging. This level of specialization helps us provide effective care for people with complicated forms of MS and related disorders. Meet our MS and neuroimmunology expert team.
We preserve your eyesight with help from a neuro-ophthalmologist. This expert specializes in eye problems related to brain disorders, such as neuromyelitis optica. We regularly assess nerves and blood vessels in the eye so we can treat problems before they become serious. This service is not widely available in the L.A. area.
We participate in research that's raising the bar for MS care excellence. We work alongside other top MS programs in North America to explore new imaging approaches for evaluating MS symptoms. You may be eligible to participate in other efforts through multiple sclerosis clinical trials.
Evaluating MS Symptoms: What to Expect
MS and related disorders affect each person differently, which is why we take time to learn about your challenges. The first step of your evaluation includes a detailed conversation with one of our doctors about your symptoms and medical history.
We also perform a neurological exam to assess MS symptoms, such as:
- Buzzing or tingling sensation that travels down your spine
- Difficulty walking and other movement problems
- Muscle weakness
- Poor reflexes
- Loss of senses including your ability to touch and smell
We also recommend tests, which may include:
- Blood tests to check for substances that are often present in people with MS and to rule out other conditions
- MRI to detect abnormalities in your brain or spinal cord
- Spinal tap (lumbar puncture), which includes taking a sample of spinal fluid to check for signs of MS
- Vision testing to assess the nerves and blood vessels in your eyes
- Neuro-ophthalmology evaluation
- Evoked potential testing