Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a progressive neurological disease in which the communication between the brain and the nerves is inhibited due to damage to the myelin sheath (protective coating) around nerve fibers.
Are you experiencing symptoms of MS and looking for treatment? At Dignity Health Southern California, we can provide expert care for movement disorders, at one of our state-of-the-art hospitals near you:
Find a Doctor online and diagnose your signs and symptoms of multiple sclerosis in Southern California. We are dedicated to delivering medical care with respect and humankindness.
Signs & Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis
The signs and symptoms of MS vary from person to person. Common signs and symptoms of MS include:
- Muscle weakness
- Difficulty walking
- Numbness or tingling on the hands, feet, or face
- Vision problems, including blurry vision or poor color vision
- Pain in the eyes
- Mood changes or depression
- Muscle stiffness or spasms
- Balance problems
- Generalized pain
- Bladder and bowel incontinence
- Loss of cognitive function, such as the ability to problem solve
- Problems with speech or swallowing
Diagnosing Multiple Sclerosis at Dignity Health Southern California
Many neurological disorders share a common set of symptoms. Your doctor may use several tests to rule out other conditions and confirm an MS diagnosis. In most cases, your doctor will begin with a thorough medical exam. During this exam, your doctor will test your muscle tone and reflexes. Because MS is progressive, it may not be possible to definitively diagnose MS after the first episode of symptoms.
To confirm MS, our highly trained neurologists use a well-defined set of criteria and guidelines, including damage to the optic nerves, brain, and spinal cord. Common tests that evaluate damage caused by MS include:
- Visual evoked potential, or VEP, a noninvasive test that measures the health of the optic nerves
- Imaging studies, including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which can show areas of damage to the myelin sheath
- Lumbar puncture (spinal tap) to examine cerebrospinal fluid for changes consistent with MS
After diagnosis, you can learn about your treatment options to slow the disease and preserve your physical abilities through rehabilitation.
You can trust every part of your neurological care to our expert team at Dignity Health Southern California. Dignity Health offers comprehensive diagnostic testing for multiple sclerosis symptoms in Southern California.