Lesions / "dots" - same thing?

Hello all, been reading around but can’t find anything about this specifically and was hoping somebody could help? I was called on Friday to attend an appointment with neurologist pre-clinic yesterday morning to get mri results. First thing he said to me was that the brain scan showed “no tumours or lesions” but that there were 5/6 “dots” which showed up. I’m 28 and the only symptom I’ve been having has been random intermittent numbness over the course of a couple of years. He’s referred me for a lumbar puncture to try to find out why the dots are there, which I’m thankful for. MS was the first thing he mentioned it could be, as well as a connective tissue disorder and some other things that I didn’t really absorb. The thing that confuses me is that having read up online about these “dots”, it seems that it’s just a simpler word for lesions… But why would he specifically say no lesions if I have 5 or 6 “dots”? Can anyone suggest what he might have meant?

Im not sure that this is helpful but many healthy people have dots on an MRI scan which can be age spots. There are numerous things that can cause spots or dots. Normally they refer to them being lesions if they are in the typical parts of the brain that they find ms lesions such as the cerebellum or brain stem. Hopefully you will get some answers soon x

Thank you for answering Karina (sorry there are two threads about this, I didn’t see the info saying it would be moderated before being posted - makes complete sense though!) Yeah he did mention that dots can occur as part of normal “wear and tear” but that he would expect there to be about half the amount. I think the fact that he’s immediately referred me for a lumbar puncture is what’s frightened me. He didn’t mention anything about where the dots were, which would have been helpful but he might have thought the info too technical for me (I was a bit “rabbit caught in headlights” to be honest) Like I said in the other thread, I know I just need to suck it up and wait for LP results. Thanks again for replying :slight_smile:

Hi Socsan x The first thing they tend to look for on your first MRI is a tumour or a stroke - they need to rule these out as they are ‘life threatening’ - maybe he mean’t ‘lesion’ in the stroke context?

It sounds to me like he was oversimplfying for you - the ‘dots’ are lesions but maybe what the radiologist would call clinically insignificant x i.e the wrong shape, size, position

You are a bit young for age related ‘dots’ - they calculate these at about 1 per decade (most neuros normally start counting after you hit 30).

Also you can get lesions from migraines (usually migraine with aura) or the cause may be vascular in origin.

However, I think the fact that he is sending you for an LP at this stage means he is unsure about them and their relation to your symptoms .

Like you say all you can do is wait until all the tests have been done but in the meantime perhaps you see your GP to discuss it & ask for a copy of the MRI report and letter from the neuro?


Thank you for replying Jenn. It makes sense that he was over-simplyfing, as he hadn’t seriously discussed the possibility of anything coming up on the MRI with me at the previous appointment, he told me he I was borderline to be referred for an MRI and decided to do it just incase. He actually said I probably wouldn’t see him again as we said goodbye that day, which is why I had a really stressful time over the weekend after receiving a call on Friday to cone in first thing Monday. I know I should be grateful that I was given the MRI at all, and that nothing even more serious showed up, but I’m having trouble processing all this at the moment. He’s a really nice man, but I wish he had explained a few more things to me such as whether he’s being over-cautious with the lumbar puncture or if he has suspicions. It’s really helpful to come on here and read about other people’s experiences, it makes things seem more ‘normal’ in a way, and easier to take in. I’m considering taking your advice and going to see my GP to chat about it, he’s been really good with me, and referred me to the neuro without my suggesting it. I didn’t know you could ask for copies of MRI through GP either, thanks for the info :slight_smile: