Neurological Tests for MS

There are several neurological tests that are used to diagnose for multiple sclerosis. It may be quite unfortunate that there is no single test available that may diagnose multiple sclerosis in people. What doctors depend on is the results of a variety of neurological tests that might help give them the proper evaluation if indeed a person is suffering from multiple sclerosis or not.

One of the key signs that doctors use to evaluate if a person has Ms is by checking for Optic Neuritis. It is an inflammation of the optic nerve in the retina that is followed by a demyelination or the degeneration of myelin, the protective fatty protein which acts as a shield to nerve cells.

Optic Neuritis may bring about blurring of vision, loss of some color vision, complete or partial blindness as well as pain behind the eye. Optic Neuritis is one of the symptoms frequently experienced by people developing multiple sclerosis. A test called Visually Evoked Potential Test or VEP is used to detect the speed of nerve transmissions through the optic nerve. It is also an effective diagnostic test for optic neuritis.

The Babinski reflex is also a test usually used for the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. This test involves stroking a pointed object at the outside sole of the foot from heel to toe. The normal response is for the toes to curl downwards. People with neurological problems located at the corticospinal tract would have their big toes curling upwards instead. There is another test used also to detect lesions in the corticospinal tract. It is known as the Hoffman’s sign where the neurologist taps the nail of a person’s third or fourth finger. A positive response is given when the terminal phalanx of the thumb flexes.

Another neurological test used for diagnosing Ms is the Doll’s Eye Sign. In this test, the doctor is looking for the dissociation between the movement of the head and the eyes. A positive response is seen when the eyes moves up while the head moves down. Sensory tests are also used to diagnose other neurological symptoms of MS. This is done with the use of tuning forks and pins to test the different levels of sensory perception in selected parts of the body.

 Other tests used by doctors in diagnosing for multiple sclerosis include tests for muscle strength which involves the level of resistance of the different muscle groups. Differences in the strength of the left and the right sides are evaluated. Tests for hearing loss are also part of the series of tests for multiple sclerosis. This can be done by the doctor clicking his fingers next to each ear of the patient and having him locate where the sound comes from.

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply