mri scan

sorry if this is a silly Question = if somebody says they are having a MRi scan of there spine, do you mean the whole spine or the kneck(cervical) only? As I have had clear brain and cervical MRI’s and when I asked my doctor for a spine MRI he said it was not necessary as my symptoms show problems with my brain.

Yes I sort of agree with him/her. If your symptoms are cognitive I can’t see any reason why there would be a lesion/s on your spine. I should think the spine means the whole spine.

Here is a map of the spine and as you can see any problems are from the neck down;


There are three parts to the spine (cervical, thoracic and lumbar), but the spinal cord is almost all in the cervical and thoracic. MS can attack anywhere in the brain or spinal cord, but there tend to be more lesions in the cervical cord than the thoracic cord so a lot of neuros only scan the brain and neck. If someone has symptoms that suggest thoracic damage, they should also scan there (tbh, I think they should scan there anyway, but budgets come first :frowning: ).

The parts of the spinal cord relate to parts of the body so a neuro can work out where the likely damage is from our symptoms. It’s not a perfect science as damage higher up in the cord can cause problems with signals getting to and from lower areas, but it’s pretty reliable.

Very broadly, if you had a thoracic lesion, the lower areas of your body would be affected somewhere, but your arms would be fine.

Karen x

thanks for the replies, your wonderful for helping.

Its funny you should mention cognative issues, I have been saying this for along time and my doctor has been dissmissive of this, so maybe by saying its to do with my brain, really confirms he believes me. I do though have numbness and weakness in the whole of my left side including drop foot, as I type this, I am getting wierd sensations/tightness in the upper muscles of my arm and all down my left side to my hip, also my face. When I see him next i may push for whole of spine as my symptoms first started in my left leg in 2005.

thanks as ever for your support