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[Series] Diagnosis of multiple sclerosis: progress and challenges

The diagnosis of multiple sclerosis is based on neurological symptoms and signs, alongside evidence of dissemination of CNS lesions in space and time. MRI is often sufficient to confirm the diagnosis when characteristic lesions accompany a typical clinical syndrome, but in some patients, further supportive information is obtained from cerebrospinal fluid examination and neurophysiological testing. Differentiation is important from other diseases in which demyelination is a feature (eg, neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder and acute disseminated encephalomyelitis) and from non-demyelinating disorders such as chronic small vessel disease and other inflammatory, granulomatous, infective, metabolic, and genetic causes that can mimic multiple sclerosis.

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