To maximize lifelong brain health, the treatment and management of multiple sclerosis (MS) need to start as early as possible – and this requires a prompt diagnosis. Ideally, people with suspected MS should be referred to a neurologist – a doctor who specializes in diseases of the nervous system. A neurologist with a special interest in MS, together with their team, will be best placed to provide a diagnosis and an integrated approach to care and management. Such neurologists have broad experience of the long-term management of MS and in-depth knowledge of the latest diagnostic criteria, treatment options and monitoring processes.
MS can now be diagnosed earlier than ever before; using evidence from magnetic resonance imaging brain scans in conjunction with clinical assessments. However, significant delays can still occur between noticing the first symptoms and receiving a diagnosis. These delays could be reduced by:
The articles in this section describe the benefits of early referral to an MS specialist and explain why it is important to diagnose MS as early as possible.