question about diagnosis.

Hello Hope you are all doing ok.

Ive been on a medical journey for the last 20 years, Was diagnosed with ME, fibromyalgia,arthritis,coeliacs and raynards all within the last 4 years. My gp told me it would all burn out and i would just have to cope. I am chemical sensitive to medication was not an option. I changed GP as these diagnosis was for the gp and not specialsist. I saw a very lovely gp who said straight away its neuroloigical and she wanted me to have a mri and see a rheumaologist and neurologist.

The rheumatolgist agreed with the firbo, raynards and arthritis. The neurologist said no mri as you havent got anything wrong with you. Husband was upset over this and i felt the neurologist to satisfy us gave me a mri.

On the day of the mri i had cold and the radiologist said he would only do a brain mri and i was to return after ive got these results. Well my mri returned and i have 15 lesions in my brain all i different areas. The neurologist and radiologist diagnosed MS there and then but wants do to a spinal mri to double check. Can they say it is MS with 15 Lesions or do they need more. I do have the eye problems, gait problems, spams etc. Im just wondering maybe because i dont belive them with all the history i have with GP’s

If anyone could help that would be great.Jo

Hi Jo, wow your right about the journey, it’s no wonder your feeling sceptical about your new possible diagnosis. I am not a neurologist but I have 3 lesions all on my brain and I fulfill the time & space McDonald criteria (the rule book of diagnosing MS) try googling it, might help you mderstand it better! so I imagine with 15 lesions, if they fit on the criteria will be enough for a positive diagnosis if this is the neurologists thinking. The neuro is prob ably checking your c-spine to see if you have lesions there as well. I hope u get some answers soon and most importantly some help. Good luck. X

Hi Jo, and welcome to the forum…

The amount of lesions on brain or spine doesn’t really make the difference. What the neuro would have been looking for are lesions that are separated in space and time… in other words, lesions that are in different parts of the brain that have appeared at different times.

To make a diagnosis, they put the results of the MRI together with your symptoms and symptom history to see if they can diagnose. If they are still not sure they will do a lumbar puncture to see if the immune system has been active in the central nervous systems.

However, it seems that wasn’t necessary for you. They were able to diagnose MS with your symptoms, symptom history and the lesions showing on the MRI.

So I think you can depend on this as a diagnoise of MS. They would never had said this if they didn’t believe it to be true. If they said definitely that they are now diagnosing MS then you can be sure that it what it is.

I don’t quite know why they want to do the spine MRI ‘to double check’ as it won’t really make a difference. Many people with MS only have lesions on the brain.

At the top of the ‘newly diagnosed’ page there is a ‘sticky’ by Rizzo called ‘A brief beginners guide to brain and MRI’. Read that. It’s very good and will give you more information.

I don’t get a sense of how you are feeling about the diagnosis. For many people who have been struggling with symptoms for a long time, it can come as a relief. For most people there is a whole melting pot of emotions from anger, to guilt, to fear, to relief. If you are feeling a bit on an emotional rollercoaster that is perfectly normal.

As you will see from this forum, MS is NOT the end of the world. It is NOT a terminal desease. Most MSers live happy and full lives. True it’s not always the lives we planned for, but you can adapt to the changes. Many people continue to work, travel, have babies, party… etc etc. Even for those of us who it affects more, life is still good and happy.

Give yourself lots of TLC, talk about how it feels, talk to your husband as I’m sure he’s feeling shocked and probably scared as well.

This is a great place to come for support, advice and friendship. After a while you will be an expert on MS… but that takes time… so for now just try and take it one day at a time.

Hope this helps,

Pat x

Thanks for answering. I have an aunt who has ms and said for 9 years I have it too, she is a great support. My hubby is relived it’s ms but I’m still not sure but with time I will get used to it. I will have a look at your suggestions thank you again Jo

The lesions are in different places in the brain not just all together.

If the neurologist formerly diagnosed MS then I guess the lesions in the brain did fulfill the McDonald criteria and the spine MRI wouldn’t be required for MS diagnosis. I guess the spine MRI could be to see if it explains symptoms that might be caused by spinal lesions.