i've been doing some research online and found this board, and i was curious if any of you knew if it is possible to have lesions on the brain without actually having m.s.? i won't go into my long story right now, but i have had 4 mri's showing lesions, yet i've also had a neurologist tell me that i do not have m.s. (this determination was based on some strength and coordination tests he performed on me in his office)
in my searches online, i have not been able to find anything else that would cause lesions other than m.s., but it is quite possible that i am not "asking" right on the search engines.
are any of you familiar with any other type of disease/infection/disorder that might cause lesions? i am sorry for just popping in here like this, but i am having a hard time finding any leads on my own.
hi there. its a good question and yes, lesions can be caused by many MANY things including former head trauma, migrane headaches- and even a car accident. The term lesions, means scarring. Scarring can be very old- very recent or anywhere in between.
just because a MRI shows lesions- it doesnt have to be disease related at all.
You shouldnt be worried, unless you have seen a NEUROLOGIST who is asking you to have further testing...MS is very rarely diagnosed from just an MRI. Usually a spinal tap, EMGs or a zillion other tests are proformed. MS is a disease which is diagnosed by RULING OUT every other thing ...so many other diseases present themselves similarly to MS..Lyme disease, meningitis, Lupus, and several others come to mind.
you have nothing to worry about at this time, just because scarring is shown...but you really should take these MRIs to a Neurologist who can help point you in the right decision.
A viral infection can cause lesions. A childhood illness with fever can leave lesions that are found later in life. Why did you have a MRI? Were you having any symptoms? Were the lesions active? Old?
You are doing the right thing in seeking out the neurologist you now see. There are many tests for which to test for MS. Before MS a myriad of possible causes must be determined. I read about "Radiologic Isolated Syndrome" (RIS). Studies have shown that RIS is increasing, that is, being discovered by MRIs being run for other tests. Researchers have determined that these RIS patients (those they follow) are 80% likely to develop new lesions and 21% go on to have a neurological attack. RIS patients have no MS Symptoms......Hmmmmm. You might discuss RIS with your neurologist.
I truly hope you will be fine. Keep asking questions!!!
thank you all so much for your replies. i'm sorry if my post was a bit vague, but my story is kind of long and i didn't have time to go into all of it at the time. in 1999, i contracted bell's palsy. aside from some relatively minor permanent side effects, i recovered completely within 6 months. a year or so after that, i began noticing pain and tenderness along my ribs and shoulders. it wasn't terribly disruptive, though, so i basically ignored it. however, about 6 months after i had my second child, i began experiencing numbness and tingling in my hands and feet, as well as heart palpitations. my gp at the time ran a battery of tests-lupus, lyme disease, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and heart disease-and everything came back negative so he ordered an mri. that test showed the lesions (and i'm sorry, i don't know if they are "active"? no one has ever said anything to me about that. i also have never had a contrasting mri, i believe they're called?) and so after ordering a 2nd mri to be sure, he gave me a very tentative ms diagnosis. i went on a 6 month waiting period to get in to see a neurologist, but due to a family emergency, had to move and was not able to get into see the neurologist once the 6 months were up.
shortly after this, i became pregnant with my 3rd child and my symptoms all but disappeared completely, and to be perfectly honest with you, pregnancy and childbirth took precedence and i honestly didn't think about it again for awhile. after i had my baby, though, my symptoms got much, much worse. i became very fatigued, sore, and achy and the numbness, tingling, and sore spots became much more pronounced. i also began feeling more tender spots in other places, almost as if my skin were one big bruise. at this point, i was able to finally get in to see a neurologist, who ran another mri that showed the same lesions, but no changes (this was about two years after my first mri). he ran some in office strength and coordination tests and determined that i did not have ms since i show no signs of muscle weakness or balance issues. unfortunately, about a month after this appointment, the company i worked for moved their offices out of state, and so i lost my job and my health insurance. my husband and i now own our own business and make too much money for me to get medicaid, but don't make enough money to afford our own private insurance, so i have been in medical limbo if you will for about 3 years now. i do have a gp that i see for general illness, and i did bring all of these other symptoms up with her 2 years ago or so, and she did the tender point test on me and diagnosed me with fibromyalgia at that time. my gp basically said there wasn't a lot she could do for me as i have not been able to see a rheumatologist. she also isn't a particularly helpful or thorough gp and hasn't been too keen on taking the time to look at the big picture of the situation. (very, very frustrating, but a whole other story all together)
i have done some research on my own and do see many similarities between my symptoms and fibro (fatigue, tender spots, muscle and joint pain, sleep issues, gerd, and ibs) but also experience several symptoms that don't seem to match up such as worsening symptoms in the heat and humidity as opposed to in the cold like most fibro patients (i tend to feel better in the cold actually) a burning sensation in my muscles, a burning/numb feeling in my fingers and toes, blurring of my vision, and weird "zapping" feelings in different parts of my body, including my head.
to make a long story short, i am not really sure what's wrong with me. however, my father has talked to the nurse practitioner he sees, and she is willing to both see me without insurance and also to actually sit down and go over a complete time line of everything i've experienced, been tested for, etc. (this makes me so happy i almost want to cry-i haven't been able to get ANYBODY to do this for me in all of these years..actually listen to the whole story and try to come up with an answer..the hopes is that she will find something that will need further exploration by specialists, which MIGHT allow me to reapply for medicaid with proof of why i might actually need it-fibro wasn't enough, though. the other hope is that she might be able to connect me with a specialist who will take payments for the rest of my natural life...)
anyway-i am very sorry for going on and on like this. just wanted to give an explanation and throw out something i've been wondering. i am starting to think perhaps the bell's palsy caused the lesions (which is why i asked if anyone knew of other things as a cause), which in turn caused both the fibro and ms like symptoms in me without my actually having ms. i don't even know if this is possible, but i'm desperate for an answer and so have been grasping at straws..
again, sorry for the long windedness..this has just been a very difficult journey for me and i'm trying to get as much information as possible put together before i go in and see the n.p.
thank you for reading and thank you all again for your previous responses-i do really appreciate it!
Last edited by babse; 12-07-2008 at 07:58 PM.
Actually Bells Palsy IS curable, especially if you go to a chiropractor that knows what he is doing. I've seen the miracle of the cure, with patience, myself. There are actually no lesions with Bells Palsy either. The only way to know for sure is to go through the complete (pain in the rear) battery of tests, including a spinal tap-which is the most defininitive when it comes to MS. I hope the Nurse Practitioner helps, really.
God bless and good luck,
Thank you so much for telling us what's going on with you! it really helps us know why you have questions...(ANYBODY would!). i feel for you, it's hard for a doctor who isnt specifically familiar with ms to understand why you think you have it. i think i can speak for all here when i say you came to the right place for people who WILL understand. I really hope the nurse/practitioner is good & patient & follows your story closely! heck, you might even want to print out what you wrote here for her! Best of luck with all this!
Thanks for the story/background info. If you have MS, your pregnancies could explain why the symptoms disappeared. It is indeed a blessing that you have someone to listen and try to assist you.
My neighbor has fibro. Her fibro was sufficient to place her on disability. I should think that if you indeed have fibro, you should be able to get disability. You might be able to get a MS clinic to help you. As to the MRI, you might be able to get assitance from the MSAA or the MS Society.