Hi - I have been suffering for a year now and a few people have commented that they think symptoms I have are MS. Doctors are saying nothing though.

I am having a MRI on my brain next week, will this provide any answers?

I suffer with a bruised sensation across my legs and body which is constant. Pins and needled rising from feet and involuntary twitching of the legs. I have no sensation or feeling of heat in my feet up to my ankles which has proved dangerous in bath. I also feel like my feet are constantly wet like I am standing in a puddle and it moves in waves as I move feet. My lower back keeps locking and is extremely painful. I am struggling to walk due to no sensation in my feet and my hands are now also beginning to lose sensation and feeling.

My reflexes work though.

Just wondered if anybody in the know could offer any advice or an opinion.

Thanks so much.

Hi Ally,

I’m sorry, but it’s impossible to say from symptoms alone whether you have MS, and impossible even to predict whether the MRI will produce any answers. Maybe yes, maybe no.

If your scan results come back normal, it very much decreases the likelihood you have MS, but if it shows certain hallmark abnormalities, it increases the likelihood. Neither is absolute proof, though. It would just help put neurologists on the right track of: “Yes, MS is a suspect”, or: “No, we’re probably looking for something else.”

It is rare to get conclusive answers on a first scan, because even if it shows changes typical of MS, they cannot yet prove that the phenomenon is “multiple” - i.e. has happened more than once, or over a prolonged period of time.

For reasons that are not well understood, some people have a single MS-like attack (technically known as clinically isolated syndrome, or CIS) but do NOT go on to have further episodes, so it is never multiple, and therefore never MS.

If a first scan shows abnormalities, there is no way of telling if this is a first attack of many, or just a one-off. So it does not lead directly to an MS diagnosis in most cases. For sure, you will find out if there are any changes suggestive of MS (or suggestive of anything, for that matter), but you will not find out for sure whether it is MS. It’s unlikely, anyway.

So I think you have to resign yourself to probably a long wait, as diagnosis is more of a process than an event. They gradually assemble evidence, until there’s enough to tip the scales. Of course, your scan may show immediately that it’s something quite different - in which case you’d get an answer quickly that it’s NOT MS. But proving that it is takes longer.

Try not to assume too much, because there are over 100 conditions that have some symptoms in common with MS, and you could have any of those, so other people’s guesses and comments are really not that helpful, at this stage. Just because several people have suggested something, doesn’t make it true.


Hi Ally,

The neurologist will not commit himself to a diagnosis of any kind until he has enough evidence to support it, which unfortunately can take a while as there is no ‘one test’ for MS. That and the fact that there are many other conditions which mimic MS type symptoms makes it more a case of ruling other things out - hence why it can take a while to get a diagnosis of any kind.

The MRI may help point the neuro in the right direction, equally it may help him to rule things out.

For now there is little else you can do, although it is worth keeping a brief, but concise, note of your symptoms. Try to stay cool in this hot weather too, as it has a tendency to make people feel worse.

Good luck, let us know how you get on.

Debbie xx