Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disorder of the white matter (myelin) of the central nervous system (CNS). MS is disseminated in time (DIT), meaning that the appearance of new CNS lesions occurs over time, and disseminated in space (DIS), meaning that different areas of the brain are affected (Reich, 2018). Common causes for focal neurological disorders should be ruled out prior to a diagnosis of MS. Although MS is by definition a condition that persists over time, a clinically isolated event, which is often in retrospect the presenting episode of MS, should be rigorously evaluated to assist in decision-making about early initiation of treatment. Diagnosis of MS is clinical, with support from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings; however, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) testing can be useful in equivocal cases.

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Last Update: October 2019