Can an mri give a diagnosis of rrms going into spms. I ask this as I am due to have another mri soon and just wondering that if damage/more lesions found will this make me spms? Thanks x

sorry marydan

can’t help with this one but someone will be long soon who knows more than i do.

carole x

The conventional view is that when the relapses of RRMS slow right down or stop, then you are into SPMS.
An MRI cannot detect this change.


Thanks Geoff, I have been rrms for 6 years now but have not had a relapse, well if I have I have not been aware of it. I am only taking usual vits/LDN just now. x

Hi Marydan

I am not able to give you an answer reference your question. However, on the weekend I did watch a documentary on youtube about a British television reporter living in Malaysia who has MS. The programme is about MS in general and what I found quite interesting was that although the lady has issues with walking and mobility, which incidentally has worsened over the last couple of years, when she visits her neuro in London for an assessment, he discusses her MRI and he rules out that she is going/ or has gone progressive and starts her on a DMD (Gilenya I think).

From memory the lady has had MS for quite a while (about 20 years I think) and has opted out of any DMT so far.

I have put the link to the video which might be of interest to look at but the part where she visits her neuro is at 38 minutes.

Its an Al jazeera tv programme and is worth a look.

Just a bit more info, which I hope will help, rather than confuse. When I had my last two MRIs, I’ve had a gadolinium injection towards the end. I think this highlights current inflammation. Does this show a person still has RRMS?

​When I started seeing a new neuro, one who I really rate, he ordered the gadolinium enhanced MRI and prescribed me high dose steroids, at a point where I was seeing worsening of my symptoms. The symptoms got better very quickly. The improvement and the inflammation seen on the MRI were taken as proof that I had been having a relapse and therefore my MS was suitable for treatment with Tysabri.

It doesn’t seem to me that an MRI could tell you you definitely have SPMS, even if there is no inflammation, because it could just be that you weren’t having an attack at the time you had the MRI.

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Hi Marydan,

Like you, I’ve not had a relapse - at least, not one I’ve been sure of - since the big one that led to my diagnosis over four years ago (I’d had others before that, but always managed to dismiss them as some bug or injury).

It is my impression, however, that I’ve been very subtly deteriorating, in the absence of obvious relapses, so I expected an SPMS diagnosis any time.

However, my neuro said a (to me) surprising thing: That if it was going to turn SPMS, it would have done so by now! (He and I between us now think I may have had MS something like 20 years, going back to some strange incidents in my 20s that I had completely ignored, but now recognize as significant.)

So, it seems that scarce or even no relapses is not the only determinant of whether someone is SPMS. I seem to be an RRMS person who is just not currently having relapses (always touch wood as I say that), but nobody is in any hurry to pronounce it SPMS. It seems you can still be RRMS, but just “not doing it much at the moment”.

I don’t know what the subtle progression is, but I would say it has always been there, right from the start (not just from when I was first diagnosed, that is). Looking back, throughout my 20s and 30s, I was becoming almost imperceptibly less well, although there were only a handful of marked occasions I can now clearly identify as relapses, and even fewer I was concerned enough to go to the doctor about.



Thanks to each and everyone of you who have taken the time and consideration to reply. You are all really a lovely very helpful group of people, SO GLAD I JOINED XX