Multiple Sclerosis is difficult to diagnose in its early stages. In fact, definite diagnosis of MS cannot be made until there is evidence of at least two anatomically separate demyelinating events occurring at least thirty days apart.
Is sufficient if an individual has suffered two separate episodes of neurological symptoms characteristic off MS and the individual also has consistent abnormalities on physical examination.
MRI of the brain and spine:
MRI of the Brain and spine is often used to evaluate individuals with suspected MS. MRI shows areas of demyelination as bright lesion on T2 weighted images.
A long hollow needle is used to take a sample of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord and can provide evidence of chronic inflammation of the central nervous system
Checking of certain nerve fibres with wires stuck to the back of the head measuring the speed the nerves transmits messages while the person being examined is looking at a pattern on a TV screen. The more demyalination, the slower the transmission of impulses
FACTORS TRIGGERING A RELAPSE
Multiple Sclerosis relapses are often unpredictable and can occur without warning with no obvious inciting factors. Some of the factors triggering a relapse are:
Relapses occur more frequently during spring and summer than in autumn and winter
Such as cold, influenza increase the risk for a relapse
Emotional and physical stress
Severe illness of any kind
Pregnancy can directly affect the susceptibility for relapse. The last three months of pregnancy offer a natural protection against relapses; however during the first few months after deliver, the risk for a relapse is increased to 20-40%. But it does not influence long term disability. Children born to mothers with MS are not at increased risk.