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Multiple Sclerosis Message Board


Multiple Sclerosis Board Index


Let me try to clarify, I can see why you are confused...(sorry!)

Symptoms usually do not stay forever. When they begin, if they are a new symptom, they are usually being caused by an active lesion. These show up as glowing or white, or enhancing on an MRI... For most people, who have Relapsing/ remitting MS, those symptoms usually do go away eventually.....now, I have some symptoms which are my onset symptoms- the ones which took me to the ER wondering what in the world was going on with me- which never stopped. I have had numb/ tingling hand and fingers for 9 years now...those lesions are not glowing, and they are very old. The only way a black hole forms (and I have several of those too) are if you get soo many lesions in the same area, that there isnt enough brain tissue to support them...and then the dissipation of the brain tissue shows up as a black hole on an MRI. IT doesnt happen to everyone.

Now, a NEW symptom, one which you havent previously had before, will almost always show up as enhancing....an old lesion, even if you are still having problems or pain, will not......my old lesions which caused my onset symptoms are either non enhancing, or gone by now...not because they healed but so many new lesions formed in the same place, they dissappeared and a black hole remains behind.

You asked about permanent damage. Its a 50-50 chance that this will happen. Normally, with R/R MS, permanent damage doesnt happen....as the disease progresses, or if you have a more progressive type rather than relapsing/ remitting, permanent damage is more likely....in this case, it doesnt mean that the lesion is still active, or that the pain stil exists...it could simply be a weakness in a limb, or gait....or a noticeably slower reaction time in a reaction. Does that make sense?

Old attacks can heal completely...leaving behind a scar/ lesion, but no symptoms. New lesions can heal completely leaving nothing behind.....or they can leave a scar with no damage....or they can leave a scar with some damage...it all depeneds on what extent the myelin is attacked...

Very hard to explain, Im sorry if Im confusing you further....But picture a mouse and an extension cord...if you chase the mouse away before he chews through the entire thing...minimal damage...a scar for sure- but possibly the connection is still good. If he chews through it completely, more than likely permanent damage.....it can heal partly (like wrapping it in electrical tape) or completely- some damage does actually rewire itself to find another pathway (the amazing brain!) but the myelin will not repair itself, the scar will always remain behind.

I really better stop before I confuse you further....I hope this helps alittle?
Nikki





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