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In the 1960s-1970s how were children diagnosed for multiple sclerosis?

My thought is they didn't have MRIs at that time spell and wondered if anyone out there is also in the medical community and could let me know the answer. Thank you.

  1. Great question ! One of the big breakthrough for diagnosing MS came in the 60s, when the MS Society commissioned a panel of doctors to formalize a set of guidelines for diagnosing MS. Looking at a patients history and also examining them and looking for things like speech patterns, testing of reflexes, checking their coordination, etc (many of those tests are still used today). As advances were made, Evoked Potentials ( became extremely helpful in diagnosis, as did looking at spinal fluid. As you can imagine, it wasn't a perfect way to diagnosis people (in 1970, the average time to get a definitive MS diagnosis was 7 years, because they really did need to see a history of exacerbations). Even today, while MRIs are extremely helpful, it can still be pretty hard to diagnosis MS correctly.

    If you are interested in this kind of thing, I love to recommend this brochure by the MS Society about the history of MS:

    1. Hello, Thank You I read both of your and found it very interesting for the last couple of days I was trying to look up information online and basically saying that when it comes to Pediatrics it's still hard to diagnosis in children. Devin, I'm going to share this information with someone that I know and has been concerned for two of their children.

      1. Thank you , I'm glad it was helpful! The sad truth, is that even with MRIs, it can still be extremely hard to make a proper diagnosis. They have made advances, but it's still slow.

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