MRI questions. Can anyone help!!!

Hello I have been officially dx today with RRMS. I have had ON for 13 years and got an unofficial (ophthalmologist) dx a year ago. I have had MRI scan before and had a couple lesions im my brain, these have now increased to 5. I also have one in my spine. My question is, does the fact I have one in my spine mean that I am more likely to have other problem areas than my eyes??? I hope that makes sense. I am very confused and not sure how to feel. I already have less feeling on one side of my body than the other but been told its not ness my MS! Help please Steph

Hmm. How to answer this. I guess I can come from it in two ways.

Firstly, there isn’t a great relationship between lesions and symptoms in MS, but it’s possible to say where the likely location of a lesion will be from someone’s symptoms. So, for example, if someone has MS and has the MS hug, then they almost certainly have a lesion in their thoracic spinal cord. The other way round doesn’t necessarily hold true though, especially in the brain. So, two people may appear to have the same sort of lesion, but they may not have exactly the same symptoms; one may even have no symptoms at all.

The other way to look at your question is to forget about MRI and lesions all together. One of the facts about MS is that it attacks multiple areas of the central nervous system. Unfortunately, there is no way to predict this. Some of us get mainly sensory symptoms whereas some get mainly motor symptoms. Some of us never have problems with our eyes whereas some have several. Some of us don’t get fatigue whereas some of us get it really badly. Etc. What symptoms we get is a little like throwing darts at a gigantic dartboard with numbers going from 1 to 1,000,000. And even then, some of us would get very mild symptoms and some would get very severe symptoms from exactly the same dart. Our bodies are all very different and some deal better with MS than others - it sounds like yours might be pretty good at it given your relative lack of symptoms despite new lesions.

The spinal cord carries information to and from the brain and the body. It has three pathways. One for motor signals. One for sensory signals. One for pain & temperature signals. A lesion on the spinal cord can affect 1, 2 or all of these, depending on its size and location. Your left side being slightly less sensitive than your right may mean that your spinal lesion is affecting your sensory pathway. The fact that the difference is mild means that the damage is probably mild too.

Does this spinal lesion mean anything about your MS and what might happen? No, not really. But then, nothing is certain in life really. I might get knocked over by a bus tomorrow!

Hth and doesn’t freak you out(!).

Karen x

Thanks very much for that! Steph