Suggestive Features vs Red Flags - National Multiple Sclerosis Society

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Suggestive Features vs Red Flags


Features suggestive of MS

  • Relapses and remissions
  • Onset between ages 15 and 50
  • Optic neuritis
  • Lhermitte sign
  • Internuclear ophthalmoplegia
  • Intractable fatigue
  • Uhthoff phenomenon

Red flags for other diagnoses

  • Steady progression
  • Rigidity; sustained dystonia
  • Seizures
  • Early dementia
  • Onset before age 10 or after age 50
  • Absence of sensory or genitourinary symptoms
  • Deficit developing within minutes
  • Cortical deficits (aphasia, apraxia, alexia, neglect)


Incorrect Diagnosis Study

To see a description (Rudick et al., 1986) of ten patients mis-diagnosed with MS, and the findings that pointed to the need for an alternative explanations of their symptoms and medical findings, click here.

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