Skip to navigation Skip to content

Diagnosing MS

Diagnostic criteria, diagnostic algorithm and other tools to facilitate diagnosis

Diagnosis & Management Healthcare Professional App

Download this unique, FREE tool and resource that provides important information about the diagnosis and management of multiple sclerosis for practicing clinicians. The App is a concise compilation of current, easy-to-reference, evidence-based information that you can access at no charge as an Apple, Droid and Windows "App".

App production made possible by Allergan, Bayer HealthCare, Novartis and Questcor Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Download for iPhone

Download for Android

Download for Windows Phone

Professional Calendar

Get access to our professional calendar for the current list of educational opportunities

View Now

View Now


Although more tools are available to help today’s clinician make an accurate MS diagnosis, the requirements for diagnosing this complex disease are the same as they have been since Jean-Martin Charcot first described MS in the early 19th century:

The diagnosis of MS requires:

An understanding of these basic requirements is essential in order to reduce the risk of mis-diagnosing a person with MS and improperly treating whatever illness or condition the person actually has. The literature suggests that among patients referred to MS treatment centers with a possible diagnosis of MS, fewer than 50 percent are found to have clinical or paraclinical findings caused by MS [Kelly et al, 2012; Camosino et al., 2005]. Although magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has greatly enhanced the diagnostic process since the first diagnostic criteria were introduced by Schumacher in 1965, it has also contributed significantly to the mis-diagnosis of MS (Ratchford & Calabresi, 2008).

Additional information


Become a Research Champion

An MS Research Revolution

Support MS Research

Understanding and ending MS can’t come fast enough – it will take all of us working together. It’s easy to be a champion for MS Research – join us and proudly let everyone know that you’re helping to lead the MS Research Revolution.

Become a Research Champion

Become a Research Champion