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ms queries

Hi

New here and never posted before…I am in the process of being tested for MS, been a long 3 months since my symptoms started with a foot drop!..had MRI on back to begin with but inconclusive…appointment with neurologist who requested brain MRI after discovering my reflexes were assymetric and not the way they should have been if it was my back!..had results back and he found 3 areas of demyelation on the scan conclusive to the area affected ie my leg and foot…just wondering if anybody else has presented like this with a foot drop?!

Also scheduled for lumber puncture on Tues…how much info does this give?..All a bit scary this but at least I might have some answers hopefully…Neurologist also gave me a 5 day steroid course to start next week and says my walking will be greatly improved Im really hoping so!

Can anybody enlighten on any of this? …Thanks

Hello, and welcome to the site

I had foot drop with my first proper relapse, but it wasn’t the main symptom and I hadn’t actually noticed it because I was walking weirdly anyway because of painful feet & rubbish balance. (The neuro noticed the foot drop in the clinical exam.)

A lumbar puncture is used to test for oligoclonal bands, a type of antibody which is released when the immune system is active. If the o bands are found in the CSF, it means that the nervous system has been attacked. If the o bands are found in the serum (from the blood taken at the same time as the LP), then the body has been attacked. Having o bands in the CSF, but not the LP is suggestive of MS. The reason that it’s suggestive and not conclusive is that about 90% of MSers get this result (not 100%) and the same result can be found in some people with other conditions.

Steroids reduce inflammation and, with it, symptoms. This means that they can shorten a relapse, but unfortunately they don’t do anything to change what the outcome would have been without taking them and they don’t work for everyone. They also work best if taken early in a relapse when the inflammation is still high. This doesn’t sound terribly positive (sorry!), but they can work wonders for some people.

I hope the LP goes well.

Karen x

As Karen say’s an LP only tells if something’s going on in your body; I think you know that but they want proof.

The actual procedure is not painful; in fact the only thing you feel is a scratch when the anaesthetic goes in. The actual removal of fluid is just a feeling of pressure if done properly. I must stress if done properly; do not let anyone practice on you insist on someone who is experienced.

It’s after you MAY get something called ‘the headache from hell.’ To cut down the chances of getting this you should lay flat for at least 3 hours do not even get up to go to the loo; use a pan. Drink at least 2 litres of classic Coke, not diet; it’s the caffeine that aids replenishment of your CNS fluid. Being your drinking a lot take one of those bendy straws otherwise the bed will get more Coke than you. If you want a change of drink very strong coffee.

These things will drastically reduce your chances of getting a headache that could last about 8 days. If you have a couple of days off work and rest if you do not get the headache, if you do 10 days off work.

If the headache last more than 10 days you could need a blood patch; especially if there’s a wet patch on the bed in the area of the spine after a nights sleep. See GP; http://www.rcoa.ac.uk/docs/hesa.pdf this is rare.

Good luck.

George