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Multiple sclerosis most often appears for the first time in young adults and much less commonly in children and in the elderly. MS can be very difficult to diagnose properly because the symptoms are the same as those of many other diseases. Symptoms include:
The severity of these symptoms ranges from mild to disabling.
While no single test exists to diagnose MS, MRI scans are especially important, and tests of spinal fluid and of nerve conduction can sometimes be very helpful. Other neurological disorders that cause similar symptoms must be looked for and ruled out. In some cases the diagnosis of MS cannot be made with certainty until tests have been repeated over time.
Even with these measures, the expertise of neurologists who are trained and experienced in diagnosing and managing MS is critical to avoid missing the diagnosis when MS is present or mistakenly diagnosing MS when symptoms are caused by other disorders.
While no cure has yet been discovered, multiple sclerosis treatment—including infusion therapy—is available and can reduce the chance of worsening of symptoms and of becoming disabled. Medications are often prescribed to help relieve symptoms and prevent future attacks. Your doctor may recommend:
All of these seem to be effective and they differ in how they are taken. We have learned that the greatest benefit in terms of avoiding future disability is achieved when treatment is started as soon as possible.
When living with MS, there are certain at-home steps you can take for your own multiple sclerosis treatment and care.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, or are experiencing related symptoms, schedule an appointment with Dignity Health Medical Foundation—Woodland and Davis MS specialists today. Call 530.668.2600.
Learn more about MS support groups near you, or join us for our MS lecture series.