Evoked potentials (EP) characterize signal conduction in selected tracts of the central nervous system in a quantifiable way. Since alteration of signal conduction is the main mechanism of symptoms and signs in multiple sclerosis (MS), multimodal EP may serve as a representative measure of the functional impairment in MS. Moreover, EP have been shown to be predictive for disease course, and thus might help to select patient groups at high risk of progression for clinical trials. EP can detect deterioration, as well as improvement of impulse propagation, independently from the mechanism causing the change. Therefore, they are candidates for biomarkers with application in clinical phase-II trials. Applicability of EP in multicenter trials has been limited by different standards of registration and assessment. © 2017, © The Author(s), 2017.