Not everyone who has an MS-like presentation the first time will get MS, and therefore this first presentation is called a Clinically Isolated Syndrome (CIS). The CIS may be any of the types of MS features listed above. Investigation after a CIS may help to determine risk of it becoming MS in the future.
After any CIS or MS relapse, treatment with steroids (intravenous or oral) can speed up recovery. Steroids are given for 3 to 5 days only, and usually reserved for presentations that involve more than just a sensory change (i.e. not just pins and needles/numbness)
There are several disorders that mimic MS, and are important to consider in the diagnostic stages.
Sensory changes in isolation are usually not MS or a CIS. Your neurologist will be able to expertly assess the whole presentation and put things together, which may ultimately be “no cause for symptoms identifiable.”
This is a common scenario and represents between 12-30% of what a neurologist sees overall. Sensory symptoms in isolation are often benign, and long-term follow-up studies on this group has shown that a tiny minority of patients end up with a disease, which is reassuring to us that it is rare to miss a diagnosis. It may not be necessary to do any investigation, and your neurologist will advise you on this. Routine blood testing of thyroid function, renal function, full blood count, bone profile, vitamin B12, inflammatory markers (ESR, C-reactive protein), HIV and syphilis is often done to rule out treatable causes of symptoms.
For more information on CIS and MS, please look at: