Advice on plaques & living in Holland with MS needed

Hi all,

I received the results of my MRI scan yesterday and have been told by my GP that I have 5 plaques in my brain which, coupled with my symptoms, is characteristic of MS. I have an appointment with a Neuro early next month for a final diagnosis but was hoping that someone could help with some questions about plaques?

  1. Is there a relationship between the number of plaques you have and the type / serverity of your MS - if so is five a high or low amount?

  2. Can plaques be a result of something else other than MS?

  3. Is the use of the word plaque and lesion inter-changable?

The timing of this is particularly bad as I am leaving the UK to work in Holland for a year next week and I was wondering if anyone has any experience of Dutch health care as it seems I could access either system?

Apologies in advance for some of the questions as I know it can vary massively person to person - I guess I am just looking for the benefit of other peoples experience. Also, I am guessing the order of the MRI & Neuro may appear odd - my GP was able to get me an urgent apointment as I am planning to leave the country soon and my mum lost her battle with MS a couple of years ago.

Thanks in advance


I have read some similar posts on here before but can’t fine them.

From what I rember of the posts,

  1. There is probably a general relationship between the number of plaques you have and the serverity of your MS in general but it isn’t very useful for indiviual cases. It is possible to have MS with a clear MRI scan and it there can be lesions with no clinical symptoms.
  2. Placques can be caused something else other than MS. Smoking causes placques (I dion’t know how similar thay are.) In the guidelines for diagnosis of MS a phrase like “lesions typical of MS” is used implying that all lesions that look as if they are caused by MS are actually not all caused by MS.
  3. Lesions = plaques.

I have no experience of the Dutch health servicebut I think they participate in the “European Health Insurance” sytem (the page says Travelling an holidays).