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Multiple Sclerosis: Definition & Diagnosis

MS - Multiple Sclerosis

What is Multiple Sclerosis?

The scientific and medical communities have been at odds for decades on the specific causes of Multiple Sclerosis (also known more commonly as MS). In its simplest terms, MS is an advanced neurological disorder where the auto immune system within the body is triggered to attack neural pathways in the brain.  This attack on the central nervous system disrupts neural synapse firing and interrupts information from the brain to the body and vice versa. Because physicians do not know inherently the root cause of MS, it is very hard to pin point and diagnose, but the symptoms are very evident in patients. (National Multiple Sclerosis Society)

What are the symptoms of MS?

Identifying symptoms of MS might appear to be a direct and straightforward process, but that is rarely the case. According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the most common symptoms of MS include fatigue, neuropathy (numbness and tingling in extremities), instability of gait/dizziness (balance issues), spasticity (involuntary muscle spasms), general weakness, and lethargy, vision problems,  bladder issues, sexual problems, bowel problems, cognitive dysfunction, mood swings and severe depression. Because every patient experiences MS differently, there is no one set pattern that defines MS exclusively.  This can be difficult to diagnose as a result. (National Multiple Sclerosis Society)

How is MS diagnosed?

Good question, and the answer is you don’t, at least not initially. The Mayo clinic states that it is more sensible and clinically accepted to rule out every other diagnosis as a means to actually confirm MS. This is a process of elimination. With that said, any neurologist or physician who sets on the daunting task of pinpointing a patient’s MS diagnosis would have to run a battalion of tests to start this ruling-out process. That litany of tests might include, blood tests, MRI scans, and a lumbar puncture (also known as a spinal tap), where a small quantity of spinal fluid is removed to assess for abnormalities in antibodies typical of MS. One newer technology set that is being utilized in addition to these methods is the Evox neurofeedback system.

This innovative and cutting-edge platform assesses neural cognitive dysfunction in patients by conducting quantitative EEG studiesor QEEG’s.These tests use visual stimuli and the patient’s response to capture the rate and speed at which information is relayed and captured by the patient observing said stimuli.

For further information regarding EEG/QEEG and other diagnostic equipment for the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis patients please call or chat with a specialist.

 

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