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People with MS typically have a higher level of antibodies than others, so this can be used as a way to diagnose the condition. You may be asked to have a lumbar puncture to take a sample of spinal fluid, which is then tested to see if this is the case. If the test shows two or more visible ‘bands’ of bunched-together antibodies, known as 'oligoclonal bands', this suggests the presence of disease activity. This occurs in around 80-95% of people with Multiple Sclerosis.

References:

  1. MS Trust. Lumbar Puncture. Available at: https://www.mstrust.org.uk/a-z/lumbar-puncture. Accessed October 2020.
  2. National MS Society. Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF). Available at: https://www.nationalmssociety.org/Symptoms-Diagnosis/Diagnosing-Tools/Cerebrospinal-Fluid-(CSF). Accessed April 2020.

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