Can MS Be Diagnosed After One Attack?

You no longer need to wait for a second “confirmatory” relapse

There is a test that can determine if you have MS after one attack…kind of.

Diagnosing multiple sclerosis (MS) is a difficult and often lengthy process. The widespread availability of MRI equipment, however, has resulted in diagnosis becoming much more efficient than it was in the past. Keep in mind, given the huge variety of symptoms and the fact that many of them are vague and go away by themselves, it still takes a smart doctor (or patient) to suspect that symptoms may be related to MS and request an MRI.

The Rules of Diagnosing MS

Since MS means multiple areas of damage (sclerosis literally means scarring or hardening), there are two basic rules for diagnosing MS:

  1. The person must have had at least two relapses (an episode where symptoms were present), separated by at least one month and
  2. There must be more than one lesion on the brain or spinal cord.

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