Hi I recently had a mri of the head but it all came back clear . However when neurologist observed it he identified a few white matter lesions? He said they are not in demylinating area but having to have another mri with contrast now. Should I be concerned I am 40 some symptoms but am really concerned how this was missed or are some normal ? Has anyone had a simular experience trying to keep positive
Yes this is very common.
The radiologist probably decided they were ‘sort of normal’, rather than missed them. They can be caused by many things, including migraine, coeliac disease, food allergies and intolerance, smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, lymes disease, as well as MS. Often called non-specific white matter hyperintensities. Non-specific , meaning that they are not specific to just one or two conditions, so are not much help in reaching a diagnosis.
People start to get a few as they age, but each one is a sign of damage. There may be symptoms associated with them.
MS can produce lesions in many areas of the brain and spinal cord, including ones that look just like those ‘non-specific’ ones that are not in the ‘demylinating areas’. But MS most often produces some in the so-called ‘demylinating areas’ and that makes it easier for neurologists to reach a diagnosis if they are in those areas.
So should you be worried? Not hugely at the moment, in the sense that they are statistically very much more likely to be caused by something other than MS, and may be something that lifestyle can help and can slow down getting more of them.
Good to hear that the neurologist hasn’t dismissed them out of hand. Too often they do dismiss them out of hand, and don’t bother to inform the patient, when there may be things that a patient can do - like reducing blood presssure if in the at-risk zone, or if pre-diabetic.
Thank you so much that’s so informative. I your knowledge and answers help so may on this forum. I am waiting another scan now of Head and spine to hopefully come to some sort if conclusion. I hope to get some answers soon as I have been worried sick about it all.
On balance, it would be better to be getting MRI’s, even ones “with contrast” that are not showing current activity than if activity was present.