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Multiple Sclerosis Message Board

Multiple Sclerosis Board Index

Re: Puzzled MS
Oct 22, 2008
Hi. I just erased my entire reply before posting, so I"m starting over. Welcome to the site!

I am by no means an expert at reading MRI reports, but it looks like they did find MS-like lesions that could be MS or other illnesses that mimic it such as Lyme. MS is a rule-out diagnosis, and it can progress very slowly. It may be that your neuro highly suspects MS, but doesn't have enough evidence to prove it. Your MRI did say that there has been some slight progression since the last one, and take it from me, it's good that they have older MRIs to compare it to. I had an MRI of the brain in 2002 that showed 2 lesions, which my doctor at the time didn't tell me. In 2007 when I got the MRI that diagnosed me, I had 17 lesions. My present doctor had managed to dig out the old MRI, and that was helpful. So I developed 15 new lesions in 5 years.

If you haven't already, you need to get other illnesses that mimic MS ruled out like Lyme and Lupus; most of these can be done thru bloodwork. A lumbar puncture may also be helpful, but they are not always conclusive. An MRI of the cervical spine would also be a good idea; many people with MS have lesions there and not on their brain.

Another great option would be to see an MS specialist--they are experts at diagnosing MS and ruling it out. MS is tricky, and a specialist is much better than a neurologist for this. After my 17 lesion MRI, my doctor (not a neuro) sent me to a specialist who confirmed it.

You may want to keep getting MRIs of the brain and cervical spine every six months or once a year until you get an answer. Like I said, MS can progress very, very slowly, and that is a good way to get an answer, although it can take awhile.

Your symptoms--vertigo, disorientation, etc. are MS symptoms, but they are symptoms of other illnesses as well. Get some bloodwork, a cervical spine MRI, and consider an MS specialist. I was lucky to get a diagnosis in a few months, but on this site, that seems rare. There are lots of people here who suspect, and whose doctors suspect MS, but there isn't enough evidence yet. You can do a search on the McDonald Criteria; this is what they use to definitively diagnose MS. ALso, you can read the "Differential Diagnosis" post at the top of the page.

This is a frustrating thing, but there are people here who will help you and who understand. Also, no matter what kind of doctor you are seeing, make sure it's one that you trust and who respects you. If my primary care doc wasn't the kind of guy he is, I may still be walking around wondering what was wrong with me. Remember that nobody knows your body, and that something is wrong, more than you do. I hope you get some answers fast. Feel free to ask questions here, there are many who have gone thru the exact same thing.

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