The EXPANDED DISABILITY STATUS SCORE (EDSS) is a measurement scale that is used to ascertain your level of disability when you are suffering from MS (Multiple Sclerosis). It is widely used  and applies simple techniques in order to come up with a number that represents your current mobility scope. It was developed in 1983  by a neurologist named  John Kurtzke  as an advance from his earlier “10 step Disability Status Scale “(DSS).




The EDSS provides a total score on a scale that ranges from 0 to 10.  The first levels 1.0 to 4.5 refer to people with a high degree of ambulatory ability and the subsequent levels 5.0 to 9.5 refer to the loss of ambulatory ability.  The range of main categories include (0) = normal neurologic exam; to (5) = ambulatory without aid or rest for 200 meters; disability severe enough to impair full daily activities; to (10) = death due to MS. In addition, it also provides eight sub-scale measurements called Functional System (FS) scores. These sub-scale categories are listed below.  The levels of function within each category refer to the eight functional systems affected by MS.



The eight Functional Systems (FS) and their abbreviations are as follows:

  1. Pyramidal (motor function) (P)
  2. Cerebellar (C11)
  3. Brainstem (BS)
  4. Sensory (S)
  5. Bowel and Bladder (BB)
  6. Visual (V)
  7. Cerebral or Mental (Cb)
  8. Other (O)
edss diagram
EDSS (EXPANDED DISABILITY STATUS SCALE) DIAGRAM – Showing the various stages of mobility that comprise the EDSS score for people with MS (Multiple Sclerosis)


1 – 5

1.0: No disability, minimal signs in one FS

1.5: No disability, minimal signs in more than one FS

2.0: Minimal disability in one FS

2.5: Mild disability in one FS or minimal disability in two FS

3.0: Moderate disability in one FS, or mild disability in three or four FS. No impairment to walking

3.5: Moderate disability in one FS and more than minimal disability in several others. No impairment to       walking

4.0: Significant disability but self-sufficient and up and about some 12 hours a day. Able to walk without aid or rest for 500m

4.5: Significant disability but up and about much of the day, able to work a full day, may otherwise have some limitation of full  activity or require minimal assistance. Able to walk without aid or rest for 300m


5 – 10


5.0: Disability severe enough to impair full daily activities and ability to work a full day without special provisions. Able to walk without aid or rest for 200m

5.5: Disability severe enough to preclude full daily activities. Able to walk without aid or rest for 100m

6.0: Requires a walking aid – cane, crutch, etc – to walk about 100m with or without resting

6.5: Requires two walking aids – pair of canes, crutches, etc – to walk about 20m without resting

7.0: Unable to walk beyond approximately 5m even with aid. Essentially restricted to wheelchair; though wheels self in standard wheelchair and transfers alone. Up and about in wheelchair some 12 hours a day

7.5: Unable to take more than a few steps. Restricted to wheelchair and may need aid in transferring. Can wheel self but can not carry on in standard wheelchair for a full day and may require a motorized wheelchair

8.0: Essentially restricted to bed or chair or pushed in wheelchair. May be out of bed itself much of the day. Retains many self-care functions. Generally has effective use of arms

8.5: Essentially restricted to bed much of day. Has some effective use of arms retains some self care functions

9.0: Confined to bed. Can still communicate and eat

9.5: Confined to bed and totally dependent. Unable to communicate effectively or eat/swallow

10.0 Death due to MS

Most people can work out what their score is by accessing the information on this page, but if you would like to download an excellent App to help you to access your score, the following ones are recommended:



13 Replies to “

    1. Hi Sarah, if you want to ask specific questions please join the facebook forum: “Hematopioetic Stem Cell Transplant – MS & Autoimmune Diseases”. It is a closed group so your posts and questions there will not appear on your face book news feed. There are a group of helpful people who can answer your questions. Many have had HSCT. It does stop the underlying disease progression so it will stop you getting worse. Good luck.

  1. Hello, I would like to know where I can have HSCT done? I have SPMS and have been in a wheelchair for nearly 3 years, My EDSS score is 7.0.

    1. Hi Lisa,

      The best thing to do would be to contact the facility that you are interested in being treated at. Earlier treatment is definitely better but each facility and each Doctor has their own criteria so I cannot say definitively. All the contact info is on this site so send a few e mails. Good luck! 🙂

    1. Hi Lee,

      It is more difficult but not necessarily a complete disqualifier. It depends on other factors such as what type of MS she has and how long she has been diagnosed. What drugs she has taken etc. If she is RRMS then there is a better chance of her getting treatment. If you could answer the above I will try and help with infor. Best Tina

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