Lesions in cervical, thoracic, lumbar or all 3?

I have

symptoms in my head and face and balance problems
Symptoms around my torso (hug)
And symptoms affecting legs and feet , bladder and bowel

So does this mean in order to explain all of these symptoms as MS that I would need to have lesions in cervical, lumbar AND thoracic spine?

I ask this because I’m having another brain scan done and as far as I know a cervical one done too. So if the answer to the above is yes then why isn’t the neuro ordering the whole spine MRI?

If there are MS specific areas of the brain that show demielination, then does this apply to the spine…is there a typical area that the neuro would need to see as having lessions in order to diagnose MS?

Bloomin heck…hope that makes sense! :slight_smile:

Mandymoo xx

The spine isn’t quite as straightforward as a lesion here = symptoms there as spinal lesions can interfere with anything below them. Also, the brain is involved in everything you mention too.

As far as locations go, there are four brain areas + the whole spine is counted as one more. (The spine is not always considered extra to “infratentorial” = brain stem and cerebellum though so you need one of these and another brain area to meet the criteria.)

Karen x

Cheers Karen.....I knew I could rely on you happy2

I presume that someone could have lesions in the thoracic and none in the cervical area of the spine though? Or is this highly unlikely?


Mandymoo xx

As Karen said spine isn’t so straight forward also though spinal nerves come off at different levels a lesion higher (cervical) up could have more of a cumilative effect (ie. arms/les bladder bowel) than a lesion lower down where some of the nerves have exited the scene. Does that make sense?



Hi Reemz.......I think so blush

I would like to blame my head being in a far away land but I think it's just because I'm a bit dim.

I will keep revisiting yours and karens reply till I understand it fully

Thanks guys thumbsup



Cheers Karen…I knew I could rely on you

I presume that someone could have lesions in the thoracic and none in the cervical area of the spine though? Or is this highly unlikely?

Mandymoo xx

[/quote] I have thoracic lesions, but none (that we know of) in the cervical section, yes. I gather cervical is a lot more common, which is why some preliminary scans don’t even bother to look further down. Luckily, my consultant was thorough, and looked at the complete spine, otherwise I suppose it would never have been seen. Tina

You’re not dim at all - even the neurologists find it difficult and we have little or no knowledge in this area. I can’t remember where now but there was a website that went through it beuatifully and explained. If I can figure out where I’ll PM you :slight_smile:

Sorry about the typing - darn fingers

I normally explain the spine like a motorway with two carriageways (north and south) with exits at each vertebrae. All the traffic (i.e. signals) heading north is heading for the same destination: the brain. The traffic heading south is going to different places so is taking different exits (the spinal nerves, at each vertebrae). A lesion is like an accident on one carriageway or, if it's a bad accident, both carriageways. Bad accidents tend to cause permanent paralysis, so let's assume MS lesions are a one-carriageway accident. When there's an accident on one carriageway, all the traffic travelling in that direction is affected. If it's going north, then everything is affected because they are all heading for the end of the motorway and they can't get off and find another route - so traffic gets stuck and/or goes more slowly through the jam (in other words, all the signals coming from below the lesion can be affected). If it's going south, then only the traffic that is still on the motorway at that point is affected, because the other cars (signals) have already reached their exits. Of course, you may get rubberneckers too - signals on the other side of the motorway may go slow too because of the chaos on the side with the accident.

MS "accidents" can happen anywhere in the central nervous system. They are more common in the cervical spinal cord and the brain, but they can occur just in the thoracic spinal cord and can also occur in the lumbar spinal cord. My first lesion was in the thoracic cord - my brain and the rest of my spine were clear, although MRI was pretty basic in those days.


Karen x

Why didn't you say that the first time round LOL.tounge

I love metaphors and analogies! All makes sense now happy2

Thx Karen.....your a star!!trophy

I do think you should publish that, it's fab! happy2

Mandymoo xx

LOL! happy2