Can a single MRI diagnose MS?

Hi all, I’m new on here, I was yesterday told I had MS from a recent MRI. My only noticeable symptom was 6th nerve palsy which caused double vision. (This has happened once before 8 years ago). I went to my neurology appointment expecting to discuss further investigations or even a repeat scan, but to my surprise the neurologist said the scan was diagnostic for MS. From all my research I was under the impression that MS takes a while to diagnose and has to be confirmed. Hearing this news took me aback as I was not expecting to hear such a definitive answer. I guess in a way it is a blessing as I understand many have to fight and amd chase a diagnosis.

Has anyone else had the same experience and had their diagnosis after one scan?

Thanks in advance x

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An episode of optic neuritis followed by one MRI scan was all it took in my case. The scan did show up ‘quite a few lesions’ ( I’ve never asked how many).

Yes, I did. I had optic neuritis years earlier but MS wasn’t mentioned at the time. Then nothing till some sensory symptoms meant I had an MRI and MS was diagnosed after that.

I’m sorry to hear of your diagnosis, it’s a shock when it comes suddenly but at least you know straight away what you’re dealing with.


After my stretch in hospital after a CT scan came back with nothing and my balance and walking issue staying the same. I had a MRI and they came back with the diagnosis that it was MS pretty much after that first scan.

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Thanks for your reply. Like you my CT jad also come clear hence i just wasnt expecting the MRI result. How soon were you started on treatments if you don’t mind me asking?

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I only needed one scan. The scan’s only part of the story. Your history is another part, clinical exam etc etc. MS is sometimes hard to dx, as you say, but not always. Mine was pretty straightforward too. A mixed blessing, as you say, but there it is.

I had vertigo for 2 years, then optic neuritis

After waiting over 6 months for my neuro appt he diagnosed me there and then - then he sent me for an MRI to confirm what he already suspected

I have them yearly now (MRI’s) and I know from this that I have a lot of lesions, and also mild frontal lobe damage

It’s hard, but you eventually find out what works for you

Try and stay positive - which sometimes is insanely difficult - but don’t forget…it’s ok to say you feel rubbish


It took about 3 months from diagnosis to first starting treatment. You will see a neurologist either at your hospital or one in the same county to discuss treatment options. Normally will get 2 or 3 you will get some reading material about how you take it, side effect etc to choose which one which one you feel is best for you. Then was about a month later I started choose Ocrevus myself which is a every 6 months infusion. Theres also tablets and self injection options they will likely give you one of them.

Hi. Yes, it can happen as the Dr has observed the development of the problem in both space and time, e.g. previous Optic Neuritis, and now an MRI with indicative MS. But, you know, it goes through a Board, they look at it. A number of people look into the medical history, so it’s not very likely they got it wrong. I had ON too, they I developed neuropathy in both hands, and I was eventually diagnosed - it took me 2.5 years of doctor appointments.

Yes, I agree it’s pure panic, but at the end of the day, there are medicines you can take. MS is not as it was 30 or even 10 years ago… It’s easier to manage nowadays. Please talk to your Dr with any concerns you have. They are all there to help you.

From the moment you get diagnosed to the moment you start treatment, I would say on average about 2-3 months. They will next ask you to see an MS Nurse if you are in the UK. The MS nurse will discuss everything with you.