Excluding post traumatic injury, Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is the most common disabling neurological disorder of young adults. Although the effect on mortality is limited, the association of a young demographic and significant morbidity combine to make MS a devastating disease. Since MS was given its first detailed description in 1868, diagnostic criteria continue to evolve. Recently, there has been an international commitment to combine both clinical and paraclinical tests to arrive at an earlier diagnosis. Widespread acceptance of the use of MRI in diagnosis, monitoring and research has made the role of the radiologist more critical than ever in this disease. The primary diagnostic criteria for MS are the International Panel criteria, commonly referred to as the McDonald criteria and it is essential that the radiology community is aware of the work preceding these criteria, so that they are understood in the correct context and the importance acknowledged.