MRI results

My GP referred me for an MRI scan of my brain as I questioned whether the symptoms I have could be MS. I have been with him this morning to get my results. “Some spots of white matter are showing, nothing extraordinary for someone born in 1965, lesions are not uncommon”. I did question whether that’s 100% sure then that it isn’t MS. He told me if he had an MRI scan it would look the same as he is a similar age.

So, before I go off skipping (I only wish I were able) into the future I thought I’d gather some input from here. I haven’t seen a neurologist or had any other tests (that’s the full picture). GP is happy to refer me to a musculoskeletal team to see if they can help manage my joint pain - seems I have to put up with the bowel incontinence, stumbling, vertigo, nerve pain. Perhaps this is what to expect at the grand old age of 53!

Can I confidently leave things at this do you think?


I find it a bit strange whenever I read that a GP has requested an MRI scan and then feels confident and qualified to make a judgement as to what the spots on the white matter signify.

The chances are, the GP has read the report from the radiographer (which is generally sent to the requesting doctor - radiographers are the real MRI specialists), and together with that information, your history and symptoms, has come to the right conclusion.

But, generally, just as a neurologist is required to diagnose MS or any other neurological disease, I would expect a neurologist is required to comprehensively state that there is no neurological condition.

If you are continuing to experience the symptoms which caused your GP to request an MRI test, perhaps you should push things a bit further.

Is there another doctor in your GP practice who you could see, run through the symptoms you’ve experienced and ask them would they recommend referral to a neurologist?

And I really don’t think the symptoms you have listed are particularly common in an otherwise healthy 53 year old. With regard to incontinence, you can either be referred by your GP or I think, self refer, to the community bowel and bladder service.


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Hi MTB. I was diagnosed with MS in October last year. I had an MRI of my brain and spine requested by my neurologist. I am 60 and smoke. The results came back with 4 “white spots” on my brain and one on my C6. The spinal one was ambiguous as it only showed on one section. He suggested, as did your GP, that at my age and smoking the results from the MRI are probably what one would expect.

He was opened minded about the spinal one. I then had a lumber puncture and the results for that confirmed it was MS.

My symptoms before the investigations were tingly legs, numb extremeties, clumsy, right foot not working, fatigue. All along he was fairly dismissive of all these symptoms. He too was surprised with the results.

I agree with Sue I don’t think your GP is in a position to say one way or the other only a neurologist can

I might add that knowing it is MS has helped and has given me an explanation for my symptoms .

good luck