How is MS diagnosed? Facts about MS.


How is MS diagnosed? Facts about MS.

Everyone’s experience of diagnosis is different. You may have had a sudden, severe attack that demanded hospital attention and a diagnosis of MS followed very quickly, perhaps within days.

However, MS is often difficult to diagnose so it may have taken you a long time to get to a definite diagnosis. All the symptoms of MS are seen on other health conditions so your doctors had to work out which one you have. This can mean having many tests to rule out other possibilities and then more tests to see if you have MS. It is sometimes a question of watching and waiting to see how your symptoms develop as this can help distinguish MS from other conditions. All this can be very frustrating and worrying but it is quite a common experience. 

You may have been given another diagnosis which later turned out to be wrong or maybe you were told that the cause of your symptoms couldn’t be found. Perhaps this was hard to accept especially if it was years before you were given the correct diagnosis. 

It can be hard to understand why your diagnosis took so long but it is often a tricky call to make so usually no one, including you, was to blame.


Facts about MS

  • MS is a disease affecting the central nervous system(the brain and spinal cord).
  • It’s estimated that 130,000 people in the UK have MS.
  • Every week around 100 more people are diagnosed.
  • It’s nearly three times more common in women than in men.
  • Most people are diagnosed in their 20s and 30s but it can be diagnosed in younger and older people.
  • MS isn’t infectious or contagious so you can’t catch it or pass it on to other people.
  • MS is the most common condition of the central nervous system affecting young adults.
  • MS is a life long condition but it is not a terminal illness.
  • Everyone’s MS is different so no two people will have the same range and severity of symptoms, even if they are closely related.
  • MS is more common in countries further north or south from the equator.
  • MS is not inherited, but family members do have a slightly higher risk of developing MS.
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