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Multiple Sclerosis Message Board

Multiple Sclerosis Board Index

Hi Poly.
White matter is a part of the brain. Lesions are actually scars. Lesions can be caused by any number of things, including prior infection, migranes, head trauma...theres a whole list.
Many of the symptoms you describe do sound neurological in nature- but its important to know that MS presents like 400 other diseases- so ruling it out is not always easy. Its also fairly common for an opthamologist who finds Optical Nueritis to also be the one to point a patient towards a MS diagnosis...but not always. My brother has had optical neuritis 6 times, and is constantly being checked for MS, and doesnt appear to have it. I, on the other hand, have had optical neuritis 4 times and absolutely DO have MS!

To answer your question, yes, you can have white matter lesions and not have MS, but NO. You cant have "other lesions" and not have MS, but unless you have been tested for MS, specifically with a MRI (and it should be of the brain and spine, with and without contrast) you could have lesions hiding in areas where you would never know it. Being seen by a MS clinic is a good idea because the doctors there, hearing your history of symptoms, and knowing what is going on with your eyes, should do a very thorough exam of your entire central nervous system (the eyes, brain and spine) which will help indicate if you have MS or not....again, testing is not obvious. There is no one test for MS...its basically diagnosed by ruling out everything else- but with your list of symptoms, it stands to reason that its as good a place as any to start!

As for a mild such thing. MS comes in a few differnt forms..relapsing/ remitting is the most common and with that type, symptoms come and go- however MS is a progressive disease and usually the disease does eventually progress to cause more symptoms ....if you were to have a more progressive form of MS you would know it. Id rule that out for now. Even if you do have relapsing/ remitting, there is no guarantee that things will get worse. The optical neuritis you are experiencing might be where your disease manifests itself.....this crazy disease is differnt for everyone. There are many differnt things you can choose to do if you are diagnosed with MS, the doctors will talk to you about options....but you can also do nothing at all. Many people only have a few flare ups (or even just one) and never have anything else to deal with. Sounds like you have already experienced a few annoying symptoms. Hopefully, that is as bad as it gets for you.

When you know more, please come back and let us know what you find out. And keep positive. People with MS live normal lives....its not fatal...and its definately manageable. If you do wind up with the dx, we can help you through each step. But, go see that MS clinic and let them do what they must...there is absolutely no reason to worry.

Stay strong!

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