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Diagnosis of multiple sclerosis in adults

Michael J Olek, DO
Section Editor
Francisco González-Scarano, MD
Deputy Editor
John F Dashe, MD, PhD


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is the most common immune-mediated inflammatory demyelinating disease of the central nervous system. MS is characterized pathologically by multifocal areas of demyelination with loss of oligodendrocytes and astroglial scarring. Axonal injury is increasingly recognized as a prominent pathologic feature of MS. Certain clinical features are typical of MS, but the disease has a highly variable pace and many atypical forms.

The diagnosis, differential diagnosis, and unusual presentations of MS are reviewed here. Other aspects of MS are discussed separately:

(See "Pathogenesis and epidemiology of multiple sclerosis".)

(See "Clinical course and classification of multiple sclerosis".)

(See "Clinical features of multiple sclerosis in adults".)

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: May 04, 2017.
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