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MS or not MS - scared

About 3 weeks ago I developed a line of tingling across my right cheek, a line down my right forearm and intermittently a line down the front of my right thigh. This feels a little like if my partner runs his finger down my neck. I had a head and neck MRI to rule out stroke (big family history). No stroke or tumour but ‘one or two small high spots in the anterior peri ventricular white matter which appear like they might run perpendicular raising the possibility of primary demylation’. At that point the tingles had all but disappeared until got into a panic. Been good all weekend, evening in hot tub got rid of tingling but now back a little now at work. Currently v stressed at work and with some stuff at home treatments for depression being investigated by GP. The last two weeks the tingles have gone at weekends then back Monday. MRI did also confirm a prolapsed disc at C5/C6 from an old neck injury with some stenosis both sides. No other leisons or anomolies anywhere else in head or neck. Is this MS?

Hi Kath and welcome to the board…

At this stage I would say it is unlikely to be MS.

For MS the MRI has to show lesions that are separated by space and time. In other words, lesions that are in different parts of the brain and that have occured at different times.

From what you say it does not fit that criteria which btw is called the McDonald’s Criteria. Read the sticky at top of ‘newly diagnosed’ page by Rizzo, called ‘A brief beginners guide to the brain and MRI’ (or something!)

I though am not a neurologist or a doctor or anything… so I could well be wrong.

Are you seeing a neurologist about the results? It’s important that you see a neurologist to find out exactly what’s going on.

The tingling could be caused by a range of conditions including the prolapsed disc.

IF they think it might be MS they will probably need more tests, or another MRI in a year or so to see if more lesions are showing.

IF it does turn out to be MS it really is NOT the end of the world. It is NOT a terminal condition. The majority of people with MS are able to continue a fairly normal life… work, relationships, sex, babies, travel… etc etc etc. Even if MS has a bigger impact we still manage ok and can have a full and happy life.

But at the moment that is all hypothetical for you. You need to find out what the MRI results means from a specialist.

For now, try to calm down about it. Easier said than done I know!!! But even if they do suspect MS, it can still be a long haul from here. MS is not easy to diagnose and can take some time… months and sometimes years to diagnose.

Hope this has helped. Remember that there are loads of conditions that can cause tingling… and lots of people have spots on their brains but do not develop MS.

Take care and hope you get some definite answers soon,

Pat x

Thank you Pat. I am thinking of it all if the time and so begin to wonder if my brain is playing tricks. I am just waiting for a neurological appt. does anyone know if migraines are visible on MRI? I had a headache that day which developed into a migraine after the scan.