Hi all! I am a 42 year old confused woman! I have been through a variety of tests over the past month after experiencing optic neuritis that began about two months ago, including an MRI that showed several lesions in the frontal lobe area, I also have elevated sed rate. My neurologist gave me information today about Betaseron and stated that I should do some research so I could decide if this was a path I would opt to take at this time. Everything I have read suggests that the sooner you start meds after the “first MS related symptom” the better.
Here is the problem…my neurologist can not definitively give me an MS diagnosis after all the testing, although he can’t rule it out either. I do feel comfortable with him and think he has been thorough in his testing but don’t really want to jump into taking another prescription. I want to be proactive in treating this, if it is MS but again I’m nervous about beginning a new drug. I should mention that I was dx’d with UC in 2004 so I already have one auto-immune deficiency, guess that makes it more likely for me to have another (so says neuro). The elevated sed rate could be due to the UC although I am currently considered to be in remission.
Sorry about rambling… Should I start the treatment or wait? What are the cons to starting it if it turns out not to be MS? The episodes of optic neuritis are quite disturbing and I would like to get that under control but really don’t know the best way to approach it.
Thanks in advance!
Post Edited (mamana monster) : 1/15/2008 1:38:01 PM (GMT-7)
I'm not a doctor, and don't pretend to be one. If I were in your situation, I'd trust the doctor's recommendation, and start the Betaseron. Several lesions, optic neuritis -- both point to MS. (I know nothing about an "elevated SED rate", so won't comment!) If it does turn out later that it is not MS, you can always stop the Betaseron.
It is an injectable drug, and there are side effects...but the potential to slow the progression of the disease is quite promising, and as you noted, people are encouraged to start these drugs early, before the disease progresses to the point of disability.
What further testing has he recommended to confirm..or dismiss..an MS diagnosis?
"Be yourself. An original is always worth more than a copy."
Well...back from my GP's office and he agreed with my gut feeling to start the meds. Put a call into my neurologist afterward and let him know. Guess I will go from here...wish me luck! I'm sure I'll have lots of concerns and questions for all you "seasoned" people.