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Old 10-12-2005, 06:36 PM   #1
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Positive MRI - Negative Evoked Potentials - Could it still be MS

I have been seeing a neurologist and had my MRI was positive for lesions in my brain. I just got my evoked potentials test results and they were normal. Could it still be MS? I get vertigo, tingling in one arm and leg, occasional abnormal step when I'm walking, very tired, I noticed recently a bladder problem and sometimes one side of my face and/or body gets numb. My memory is also very horrible. I don't know what to think and confused because the doctor gave me all kinds of information on MS and its treatments and am now wondering if she jumped the gun. Could the lesions and symptoms be caused by something else? Thanks for any advice.

 
Old 10-12-2005, 07:25 PM   #2
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Re: Positive MRI - Negative Evoked Potentials - Could it still be MS

Amelia, well, yes, it could still be MS. Could also be other things. Did your neuro order a spinal tap (lumbar puncture)? Any blood tests?

 
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Old 10-13-2005, 05:53 PM   #3
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Re: Positive MRI - Negative Evoked Potentials - Could it still be MS

Thanks. I am seeing the doctor next week and she is supposed to be scheduling a spinal tap and I think a spinal MRI. I wasn't sure if people who were diagnosed with MS ever have normal evoked potentials. They did a lot of blood tests which all came back normal. I also have been having a loud ringing in my head which sometimes drives me crazy! Could this be an MS symptom?

 
Old 10-13-2005, 06:11 PM   #4
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Re: Positive MRI - Negative Evoked Potentials - Could it still be MS

I don't think the evoked potential is that important in diagnosing MS. I know someone on this board, maybe it was Lilc, had a better than average evoked potential I believe. And my neurologist never ordered one and I was still dx. Blood tests coming back normal just rules out Lyme disease and a few other disorders, doesn't have much to do with MS. The spinal tap will tell you if you do or don't have MS based on the oligoclonal bands present in the fluid. The ringing in your head/ ears is known as tinnitus. It is one of those symptoms of MS that they call "rare". But yes it may be a symptom, I have experienced it as well as others on this board. Good luck with getting to the bottom of all this... and after your spinal tap, stay in bed as long as you can and drink plenty of fluids! Good luck

 
Old 10-13-2005, 08:34 PM   #5
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Re: Positive MRI - Negative Evoked Potentials - Could it still be MS

Yep, it was me that had better than average evoked potentials. Going back to when I first started doing research on MS, I recall that the standard diagnotic criteria for MS are pretty imprecise. It more often than not boils down to ruling out other things combined with meeting a combination of criteria. Seems like you need a certain number of "hits" in the following areas: Brain MRI (lesions, certain areas), spinal MRI (cervical spine most often - single lesion counts as a "hit"), evoked potentials (visual and/or extremities), LP, clinical observations (those tests they do every time you have an office visit - sharp/dull sensing, push/pull, balance, symptoms, etc), history of relapsing/remitting symptoms and ruling OUT other causes. Most frustrating of all is that any or all tests can be negative for MS at any given time, but you can still have MS.
I think it is safe to say that neurological disorders are slippery. Amelia, I don't think you'll find anyone who WANTED to be told they had MS, but you'll find quite a lot of us who were relieved to hear it. Stick around here, you'll understand.
Curious gave essential advice regarding the spinal tap: Drink lots of water before and after. Lay down flat as much as possible for at least 3 days after. Don't bend over while standing for a few days. The procedure itself will most likely be no big deal - mine was completely painless. You just want to avoid "the" headache! If you were to get it you will survive, it just isn't any fun at all!

 
Old 10-14-2005, 05:47 PM   #6
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Re: Positive MRI - Negative Evoked Potentials - Could it still be MS

Thank you both so much. I have been so scared and worried about this. I don't have many friends and don't want to talk to anyone at work about it. I am very glad that I found this site. One thing that happened today that I forgot to mention was a tingling and weak feeling in my right leg. Also every once in a while when I go to take a step with that leg it does some little involuntary movement. Is that or could that be a symptom. Sometimes I think that since the tests are coming back ok that maybe I don't have MS but then I remember the lesions in my brain mri. It is scary. The first few weeks after I found that out I was afraid for anyone to even come near my head! I also had a headache for about a month but also had the creeps that something weird was going on in my brain and didn't want anyone to touch my head. I know that might sound weird but I was pretty upset at first. I just wonder how long it can actually take to get a diagnosis. I think I need to get into science and come up with a test for diagnosing MS! Thanks again.

 
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