Multiple sclerosis (MS)

Multiple sclerosis, or ‘MS’, is a complex condition that can strike without warning. It can impact someone physically, mentally and emotionally, and living with it affects the lives of the individual and their family and friends.

No one knows for sure why people get MS. It is thought likely to be due to a particular mixture of personal make-up, our lifestyle and the environment we live in.

Although a diagnosis of MS is for life, expert advice and support alongside personalised treatment can help in managing the condition and its symptoms. These symptoms can feel different from one day to the next, making MS hard to predict.

At the moment, we use a combination of brain and spinal cord imaging, spinal fluid testing and the individual’s recorded signs and symptoms to help decide whether someone’s MS is ‘active’ or not. This is important in learning whether someone with MS is responding to treatments.

There are so many effective treatments now that it is becoming more and more acceptable to talk about MS as a treatable condition.

Unsure whether your experience is of MS or not?

MS is usually easy to diagnose when people present with ‘typical’ symptoms and when their MRI scans show the ‘typical’ findings. By ‘typical’ we mean the symptoms and scan results that are most commonly found in someone recently diagnosed. This diagnosis is sometimes supported by the results of a spinal fluid examination.

Sometimes it is more difficult to be certain of a diagnosis, especially early on in the condition, or when people are experiencing more unusual symptoms and signs. If this is the case, a longer discussion with an MS expert combined with specialist testing can usually help to confirm if a diagnosis is accurate or not.

Occasionally MRI scans, which can be done for any number of reasons, can show incidental findings that look like – or can be misinterpreted as – MS. This can be really distressing and sometimes lead to mis-diagnosis. This is a common reason for a referral to specialist MS neurologists, and might be a very good reason to visit our clinic.

The team is ready to listen, understand and co-create a bespoke treatment plan for anyone living with MS. Contact us now to schedule an appointment.