Hi all, I have a few questions for you...

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singlemamma
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 12/12/2006 7:26 PM (GMT -6)   
I was just in the hospital recently and I'm trying to figure out what is going on with me... the symptoms point to a mild stroke but they went away too, without any therapy... there are any number of things when I look this stuff up and previous symtoms I've had and MS is one of the major ones.  My uncle also has MS, and I was heavily asked about it at the hospital so it seems to me they were almost convinced of it until the MRI came up normal.
 
My question is do all MRI's of all MS patients come up abnormal?  Further what other tests can they perform?  Do all people with MS test "positive" on these tests or can some not show up on the testing until later in life?
 
It is suspected other family memebers who have passed on had MS, but it was so long ago and they just didn't know what they know now kwim?
 
I appreciate your input in this... my doctors are blowing me off at this point saying "stress" has caused all this and I'm not a believer in that for what is going on with me.  Stress I know can do funky things to a body but it doesn't cause loss of function in a hand for a period of time, then a droopy eye, and a collapse of the patient as well as the dizziness and other things I've got going on.  I'm just looking for answers, I feel at this point it is important for me to take my health into my own hands because the doctors are writing me off, and I'm not better totally and I'm exibiting new symptoms as well.
 
TIA

Mezazinine
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 100
   Posted 12/12/2006 8:05 PM (GMT -6)   
The MRIs in multiple sclerosis are usually abnormal, with about 95% of MS patients having abnormalities even at the earliest stages of the disease. Sometimes the abnormalities show up later but this is relatively rare. The most important elements of a MS diagnosis are:

1) Clinical. A MS attack usually develops over a couple of days, lasts several weeks, and then the symptoms gradually disappear. How long did you symptoms last?

2) Neurological Exam. Usually something will be abnormal with MS such as abnormal reflexes.

3) Imaging. Most MS patients do have abnormalities so a normal MRI argues against the diagnosis. It is important to make sure your MRIs were done with and without contrast. It is also useful to do a MRI of the cervical spine because MS lesions tend to occur there.

4) Lumbar Puncture. This isn't done for everyone but MS patients usually have oligoclonal bands and an abnormal IgG index.

5) Ruling out other conditions. There are many, many, many conditions that can cause MS-like symptoms and even look like MS on the MRI that need to be investigated before a diagnosis of MS can be made. Some examples are complicated migraine, collagen vascular disease (ie Lupus, Sjogren's, anti-phospholipid), infectious diseases such as Lyme, vitamin deficiencies, Chiari malformation, disk disease, etc.

Hope this helped. I would recommend that you collect all of your medical records including your MRI scan and go for a second opinion.

BGD2Me
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 366
   Posted 12/12/2006 11:55 PM (GMT -6)   
TIA,

Welcome to HW. So glad you found us! This is a great place to come with all your questions.

Sorry that you've been having some difficulties. It is hard being told it is stress, depression, all in your head. A lot of us have heard the same things.

There are standards that docs have to go by to diagnose MS. They are called the Mcdonald Criteria. If you google this you will come up with lots of hits. When looking at this you will see how difficult it can be to diagnose.

I wish you lots of luck and hope you start feeling better.

Lysha
When everything's coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.


uppitycats
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2135
   Posted 12/13/2006 8:32 AM (GMT -6)   
singlemamma said...
I was just in the hospital recently and I'm trying to figure out what is going on with me... the symptoms point to a mild stroke but they went away too, without any therapy... there are any number of things when I look this stuff up and previous symtoms I've had and MS is one of the major ones.  My uncle also has MS, and I was heavily asked about it at the hospital so it seems to me they were almost convinced of it until the MRI came up normal.
 
My question is do all MRI's of all MS patients come up abnormal?  Further what other tests can they perform?  Do all people with MS test "positive" on these tests or can some not show up on the testing until later in life?
 
It is suspected other family memebers who have passed on had MS, but it was so long ago and they just didn't know what they know now kwim?
 
I appreciate your input in this... my doctors are blowing me off at this point saying "stress" has caused all this and I'm not a believer in that for what is going on with me.  Stress I know can do funky things to a body but it doesn't cause loss of function in a hand for a period of time, then a droopy eye, and a collapse of the patient as well as the dizziness and other things I've got going on.  I'm just looking for answers, I feel at this point it is important for me to take my health into my own hands because the doctors are writing me off, and I'm not better totally and I'm exibiting new symptoms as well.
 
TIA
Can we assume that the doctors ruled out a stroke?  People can recover from a stroke without receiving therapy, if the stroke was mild and transient...  And there are vascular disorders that can mimic MS, particularly in the early stages.
 
You've gotten some good answers from folks here already, but I'm wondering about the "95% of people with MS" having lesions show up on an MRI, particularly in the early stages. I've heard about lots of people with no indications on the MRI that have been diagnosed with MS, based on other signs, so that figure seems a bit high.  But having had MRI's done in the hospital, generally they're pretty accurate and definitive.
 
But indeed you need to  be sure to keep your doctors informed about any new symptoms, or any worsening of current symptoms.  A lot of times they'll tell you to "watch and wait", and what they're watching and waiting for is a new episode of symptoms, separated from the current problems, before continuing to pursue a diagnosis, when all the usual tests have come back "negative".
 
I hope you start to feel better soon.
...I am not a doctor, nor health professional, and don't pretend to be one, here.....


rhondab
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2146
   Posted 12/13/2006 8:59 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey Singlemama

Welcome to the board! I'm glad u found us and hope u'll find the help and support u need here. The people in our community are great and will make every effort to answer any questions u may have.

I'm in limbo...no diagnoses of anything, yet numerous symptoms...and my tests have all been normal. I had three total mri's and all normal with the exception of some issues with discs. I see u'rs were normal as well. It's possible to have an mri and not have any lesions show up, yet be in the early stages of ms. That's not to say u do have ms, but rather to show that this shouldn't necessarily be put aside either. As Uppity said, many times u'r put on the 'watch and wait' status. That means they can't see anything on u'r tests results to diagnose ms, but should more crop up to warrant more testing, such as obvious clinical signs or symptoms, then the testing may be repeated.

Mez answered u'r question very well as to what tests may be performed to help diagnose ms, but do u mind me asking what u'r symptoms are and have been? U mentioned droopy eye, numb hand, dizziness and a collapse. What other things? Some of those things can be ms or could be many other things. It's good to keep u'r eyes open to all other possibilities including those Mez listed and a good way to be on top of that is to google "ms mimics' to see what u may be facing. Also, to try to narrow things down for u'rself on the ms side, visit www.nmss.org and review the symptoms for comparisons sake. If u'r not already doing so, u may want to start making note of u'r symptoms. How they feel to u, when they happen...i.e. after a hot shower or when u've missed a lot of sleep...whatever the situation seems to be. Also note frequency and duration of the symptoms. This will be priceless to u in the long run. If u can, get copies of u'r mri films. They're ur's once u have them done and having a copy on hand could be helpful if u see another doc who may want to repeat them. They can be used for comparison against new ones or to replace doing new mri's if they are current enuf. Same thing with any other test results. It's a great idea to have a copy of the results/report on hand.

Bravo to u for taking this into u'r own hands. Stress/anxiety can cause many things in the body, as u said, and it's pretty interesting the extent that can get to. Also, stroke or migraine as well as many others (as already alluded to here) Don't put anything aside yet. Look at it all and be ready to research a lot of different possibilities. We'll be here to answer u'r questions and help u along the way. Again, welcome to the board!

rhonda

frannie55
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 29
   Posted 12/14/2006 1:58 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi Singlemama,

When I was diagnosed 17 years ago my neuro said the 1 attack would not show those white spots in an mri indicating ms as they are a type of scarring<sclerosis=scars>as it takes a while for a scar to form.  Like if you'd cut your hand, you'd have 1st a cut, then it turns into a scar.  Same w/ms.

Because of this great advice I waited for the mri and was able to forgo any invasive testing.

Good Luck tou you and laughter really is the best medicine. 

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