Hi everyone,

I am after a little advice regarding my recent MRI results. I am yet to be diagnosed but I have had symptoms for several years now off on and with blurred vision, headaches, numbness in left cheek and left big toe that can spread to whole foot, I also have left leg stabbing pain and it regulary kicks out, particularly at night for no reason. I have slurred speech and cognitively feel very impaired at times, not sure if this is due to feeling totally exhausted or something else going on.

My GP is referring me to a neurologist after anomalies were found on my brain MRI scan, he didn’t mention MS and seemed to play it all down and said there is probably nothing to worry about. However he stated that I have “hyperintensity in the left frontal lobe”

could I ask you all a few questions:

  • Are hyperintensities another name for lesions? I’m trying to understand what this actually means.
  • How long will it take roughly to wait for an NHS appointment to see a neurologist?
  • Has anyone gone private for an initial consultation and if so how much does this cost approximately? I don’t think I can cope with a lengthy wait.

Thank you in advance and I hope you all have a Happy New Year!

Hi pink Lilly, Yes hyperintensities is another way of saying lesions. But this doesn’t mean it’s because of MS. There could be a number of reasons. This is for your Neuro to decide, coupled with other test results and symptoms/clinical findings. Waiting times depend on your area you live in. Could be a few weeks could be months. If your doctor has referred you, ask where to, ring the hospital and they can advise you. I have gone private for my whole diagnosis process, but I have insurance. Initial consultation is around £150 and follow up appointments usually about £100. Worth doing if the wait is months. But they will need to run more tests and these are expensive, so they would need to put you back into the nhs to do these anyway. So up to you. I hope you’re ok. This forum is lovey. There’s also lots of Facebook groups that are great for support and questions. X

Hi Lily

Your questions are hard to answer.

  • Re hyperintensities, I don’t know is the simple answer. Possibly, but you’ll need to wait for a neurologist to explain it.
  • Length of time for a neurologists appointment? How long is a piece of string? It depends on your local area plus how ‘urgent’ the referral was flagged as. I’ve often thought it’s a dreadful way round to organise neurological testing. You’d have been better off seeing a neurologist first, then being referred for MRI. But it is what it is. If you’ve not got a date within the next couple of weeks, try phoning your hospitals appointments team or the neurologists secretary.
  • The problem you’ll have with a private appointment, is that you’ll need the neurologist to have seen your MRI scan in advance. Do you have a copy on a disc? Can you get one from your hospital? Then you have to find a neurologist who’s prepared to view the MRI in advance of seeing you. Not impossible, but you’d have to get the scan first, then find a neurologist, then speak to their secretary. And ultimately, you’d probably end up needing to be referred back to the NHS for any further (expensive) tests and (possibly) treatment.

So, my feeling is that unless finances are not an issue at all, you’re better off in the first instance trying to get your NHS appointment sorted. Find out how long your wait is, try to hurry it up if it’s ages away (see your GP and ask them to re-refer you as an ‘urgent’ case), and then consider a private consultation if it’s still months away.

And btw, your GP was quite right not to mention MS, or indeed any other diagnosis. A GP is not qualified to make such a diagnosis, nor to rule it out. This is the job of a neurologist.

Best of luck.