Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurological movement disorder caused by a breakdown in the protective coating around brain and spinal nerve fibers. This results in the disruption of nerve impulses (communication) between the brain, spinal cord, and rest of the body.
If you’d like a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis symptoms in the Bay Area, doctors at Dignity Health can help. For the personal care you need, Find a Doctor with our online search tool.
Signs & Symptoms of MS
The most common symptoms associated with MS are:
- Balance problems, including dizziness
- Bladder and bowel incontinence
- Difficulty walking
- Generalized pain
- Loss of cognitive function, including problem-solving abilities
- Mood changes or depression
- Muscle spasms or stiffness
- Muscle weakness
- Numbness or tingling
- Problems with speech or swallowing
- Vision problems, including pain when moving the eyes, poor color vision, or blurry vision
Talk with an experienced doctor if you or a loved one is experiencing any of the symptoms listed above. If you or a loved one has only had one episode of symptoms, it may not be possible to diagnose MS until more time has gone by.
Diagnosing MS at Dignity Health
Because MS symptoms can often mimic those of other movement disorders, doctors focus on ruling out all possible causes when determining a diagnosis of MS. To begin, your doctor may go over your medical history and perform a specialized neurological exam to test your muscle tone and reflexes.
At Dignity Health, your doctor may perform several tests, including:
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan
- Lumbar puncture, or spinal tap
- Visual evoked potential (VEP)
Once a diagnosis has been determined, your doctor can explain your treatment options and create a customized plan that meets your needs. Dignity Health is committed to compassionate care through humankindness. Talk with one of our doctors to learn more about treatment.
Dignity Health hospitals can help to diagnose MS symptoms in the Bay Area.