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Don't know if its MS

Hi All,

My partner had an attack of some sort just over 2 years ago that lasted for about 2 weeks - 2 days of which were fairly bad, main symptoms were dizziness, numbness on leg. She did injure her neck a few days prior during her workout. No other attack whatsoever since then.

She done an MRI on her brain and spine at that time, and the brain MRI showed 2 lesions and spine nothing.

She’s done a recent follow up (2 years later) and they found another lesion on the brain but nothing on the spine. She has not had any attacks since the first - over 2 years ago.

She does suffer from headaches/migraines, and is low in iron.

Neuro said it may be MS or may not. He recommends a spinal tap but shes hesitant as she feels fine.

We’re unsure, any advice would be great.

Thanks.

Hello

I think your partner might need to take the neurologists advice. If the brain and spine lesions are demyelinating and look typical of MS lesions, then what would swing an MS diagnosis is very likely to be a lumbar puncture.

What the neurologist is looking for in a lumbar puncture is something called Oligoclonal bands in the cerebrospinal fluid, but not in the blood which is taken at the same time as the LP. About 80 to 95% of people with MS have O bands in their CSF.

Have a look at: https://www.mstrust.org.uk/a-z/lumbar-puncture and the criteria for diagnosing MS: https://www.mstrust.org.uk/a-z/mcdonald-criteria

The point of getting a diagnosis (if indeed she does have MS) is that once diagnosed, she could be prescribed a disease modifying drug (DMD). And the point of these is to reduce MS relapses and the severity of relapses. Even though she feels fine now, the point is to continue feeling fine, so avoiding potential relapses is a good idea.

So, my view would be to have the LP. It may even be that she is negative for O bands and that will help you both to relax as the chance of it being MS is that much less likely. A lumbar puncture is not a pleasant experience, but it’s a once only occurrence. Bear in mind, this is just my opinion.

She could just as easily wait and see if anything else happens over the next couple of years and if so, have another MRI and maybe the LP then. If you can both put the spectre of MS to the back of your minds, then this is just as valid a choice as chasing a definitive answer right now.

Best of luck.

Sue

Hi Sue, thanks for replying with your info, we need all the advice we could get at this stage. She’s worrying her self sick. What sounds strange is that she’s been suffering from headaches all her life and apparently migraine lesions are often misdiagnosed for MS, she does still get a lot of headaches as usual however no symptoms classic to MS. Spine MRI was also clear of lesions, would this be a good indicator that if she were to do a LP it will come up negative of Obands? Thanks again.

Hi

The spine being clear of lesions might mean that the brain lesions are in fact caused by migraines and the LP won’t show up O bands. But maybe not! (Aka I don’t know!)

If you both were to stay positive, it really won’t hurt at all. And if, as you say, your partner hasn’t had any MS type symptoms, then hopefully it is ‘just’ migraines. Which I know are nasty buggers, but at least they’re not MS!

So, having the LP is still allowing for a chance of an MS diagnosis, but by no means is it likely. So it’s still one of those, have the LP if she wants to be certain, but don’t if you can both live with uncertainty decisions.

Best of luck. (If you go for the LP, let us know what happens, and if you choose not to, tell us that too. It always helps other people to know your thought processes and the results of them!)

Sue