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Tiny non-specific spots on MRI

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Old 06-20-2007, 05:18 PM   #1
Join Date: May 2004
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Lynne45 HB User
Question Tiny non-specific spots on MRI

I'm not sure what to make of this, but my doctor ordered an MRI of the brain because I was having dizzy sensations, concentration problems, and constant headaches, which I believe are tension headaches. She called me the day after the MRI to tell me that there are several tiny non-specific spots in my brain and I needed to make an appointment with a neurologist. She didn't say how many spots there are, and she didn't say what the problem could be. This was about 5 weeks ago and it takes 7-8 weeks to get in to see a neurologist, so my appt. is July 9th. I requested a copy of my MRI report from my doctor's office 4 weeks ago, but they still haven't sent it to me. I've left messages on their voice mail to no avail. From what I've read on the internet, these spots could be caused by MS, ischemia, migraines, or cancer spread to the brain. I've never had a migraine, and haven't read anything about tension headaches causing these spots. I'm 48 years old, so I would think I'm too young for ischemia in the brain. So, I started researching MS and tried to think of whether I've had any MS symptoms.

Six years ago, I had tension headaches for 3 years. My left arm felt very heavy, and I had off-balance feelings. My doctor said it was a chemical imbalance in my brain and put me on Celexa for 18 months. The symptoms resolved after a few months.

Three years ago, I experienced nerve pain in my chest when exhaling deeply, and would also feel nerve pain in my pinkie and ring finger on my left hand at the same time. Later on, my hands would get cold and hurt, as if I had been outside in freezing weather and come inside. I would run hot water over my hands several times a day to warm them. My hands would occasionally tingle. This went on for about 7 - 8 months.

A couple of years ago, I had pain deep in the upper part of my right arm for about 6 months. It hurt to even lift my arm to turn off my alarm clock. The doctor could find nothing wrong, and I felt like a hypochondriac. The pain disappeared on its own after 6 months. About the same time, I was having pain in my eye socket, like a muscle pain when moving my eye. The eye doctor did every test he could think of and found no problem. This pain lasted for about 3 months and went away.

Last summer, I experienced a dark shadowy area in the bottom of my field of vision, but it only lasted for about 4 hours one evening.

Now, occasionally I feel a buzzing sensation in various parts of my body, but it only happens once or twice a week and the buzz lasts for about 1 second. It feels as if my cell phone is on vibrate, and is next to my skin. My right leg "jumps" a few times after I go to bed at night, and before I fall asleep.

I know I have some moderate cervical stenosis, to which I've attributed some of these symptoms, but now with these "tiny non-specific spots" on my brain, I'm beginning to wonder (and worry). My doctor has put me on Celexa for my tension headaches and dizziness and after 5 weeks, the headaches have reduced from 7 days a week to 3-4 days a week.

Does anyone have any ideas about these symptoms and spots on my brain?

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Old 06-20-2007, 08:05 PM   #2
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: chico, ca, usa
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anxiousme HB Useranxiousme HB Useranxiousme HB User
Re: Tiny non-specific spots on MRI

It's hard to say without knowing more details ie: location of the spots, etc... Many things mimic MS and vice versa. Don't self diagnosis on the internet. This can cause much unneeded stress. BELIEVE ME THAT'S WHY I CHOSE ANXIOUSME FOR MY NAME! I've had every disease known to man kind, by self diagnosing. If possible, I would show up at your doctors office to get the report. You deserve to know. It is your brain, after all. And wait until the neurologist comments on what it could be. DX for many people with MS has taken a very long time. It is not an easy DX. It also isn't the end of the world. Good Luck. Don't worry.

Last edited by anxiousme; 06-20-2007 at 08:06 PM.

Old 06-21-2007, 04:56 AM   #3
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Cleveland, OH
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Jackie98 HB User
Re: Tiny non-specific spots on MRI

I agree with anxiousme. It's so hard to tell right now. MS is just so hard to diagnose because it mimics so many other diseases and it's a process of elimination. If they can't diagnose you with anything right now, at least you will have this documented that you went to a neurologist. Sometimes doctors like to see an established pattern of "flare ups" to go along with the MRI findings to give a firm diagnosis.

I also agree with anxiousme in the fact that it's not good to self diagnose on the internet! It will drive you crazy! LOL! I went through self diagnosis for 2 years until my doctor told me that he ruled out every other disease and suspected MS.

I will keep you in my prayers. I know your appointment is coming up soon. It will seem like forever waiting for that appointment! Trust me! I go through that every year after my MRI! Please keep us posted on the results! We are here for you!


Old 06-22-2007, 11:46 AM   #4
Join Date: May 2004
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Lynne45 HB User
Re: Tiny non-specific spots on MRI

Thanks for the advice. Coincidentally, I just received the copy of my MRI in the mail. My doctor's office finally sent it to me. The report says, "There are several tiny focal areas of increased T2 signal in the periventricular white matter which are somewhat nonspecific but may represent nominal small vessel change." Do MS lesions appear in certain patterns or areas of the brain? If these were suspicious for MS, would the report have specifically mentioned this possibility?

Old 06-22-2007, 11:55 AM   #5
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Bearygood HB UserBearygood HB User
Re: Tiny non-specific spots on MRI

Yes, lesions associated with MS have certain characteristics in terms of shape and locations.

Other than perhaps using a term like "consistent with ___" (which I'm not even sure they would do), radiologists reports are usually more observations, not dx related. At least that's my experience. Any good doctor (neuro, MS specialist or otherwise) will look at the films themselves and not just rely on a radiologist's report.

Neurologist seems like the next best step -- with the report and films in hand! Good luck and keep us posted.

Old 06-23-2007, 03:06 PM   #6
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OliverBocca HB User
Re: Tiny non-specific spots on MRI

Remember that spots on an MRI that are "consustent with MS" usually have some sort of as "spike" or "comet tail" going off to the side.

The migraine-related spots are usually transitory (meaning they can go away on their own) and they tend to be eraser-sized, round in nature.

You might just have migraine-related spots that will "go away" on their own.


Old 07-09-2007, 05:17 PM   #7
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 61
Lynne45 HB User
Re: Tiny non-specific spots on MRI

Well, my appointment with the neurologist was today, and she said she thinks the headaches I've had are a variant of a migraine. I've never been told I had migraines before and don't have any of the typical migraine symptoms. She said the spots in my brain MRI are nothing that concerns her and could be caused by my headaches or could be age-related (I'm 48 years old). So, it appears that I have nothing to worry about. Thanks for listening, and best wishes to all of you.

Old 07-10-2007, 11:56 AM   #8
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rachel4123 HB User
Re: Tiny non-specific spots on MRI

I had tiny white spots on my MRI, they were round. I have had 3 MRI's. I have dizziness/imbalance for almost 3 years. Comes and goes. Now I get random wierd tingling in arms , legs and buzzing sometimes. Sometimes my arm or leg feels heavy too. I have been worried about MS for all this time since they did evoked potentials, etc on me, I went for another opinion from an MS neuro. They all seem to think it's migraine related. It just seems weird that that can cause all these symptoms. I am really drug phobic and hate to take anything. Are you taking anything for the dizziness?
Anyway, just thought Id let you know my situation is sort of similar, however I am 35. Hope you feel better soon.

Old 07-10-2007, 03:35 PM   #9
Join Date: May 2004
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Lynne45 HB User
Re: Tiny non-specific spots on MRI

Rachel, my internist put me on Celexa and Interal, then the neurologist increased my dosage of Interal from 80 mg. to 120 mg. The Celexa has resolved my dizziness. I'm just totally surprised that the neuro labeled these headaches as migraine variant. My internist called them "non-specific" headaches. Oh well, as long as they go away, I don't care what they are called!


Old 07-10-2007, 08:19 PM   #10
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c57s53 HB User
Re: Tiny non-specific spots on MRI

Hi Lynne,
Just wanted to let you know that migraines can cause so many strange symptoms....I have migraines, not headaches, but migrains that cause visual disturbances, tingling, numbness or a partial numbness, weakness, and sometimes they literally make me feel so exhausted that I go right to sleep. My sister has them so bad and they have left lesions on her brain, but she gets very dizzy from them and they leave her totally incapacitated. i also know a RN who said that when she gets them at work she just colapses to the floor and all the doctors and nurses just work around her because they are so used to it and they all know she is just having another migraine and her life isn't in any danger......isn't that strange? So migraines can cause all kinds of symptoms....nausea, vomiting, you name it! Are migraines common with MS?


Old 07-11-2007, 12:53 AM   #11
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Weasel64 HB User
Re: Tiny non-specific spots on MRI

Migraines are considered an "uncommon symptom" of MS.

"Although headaches were once thought to be an infrequent symptom of MS, more recent studies indicate anywhere from 31%1 to 57.7%2 of the test subjects with MS suffered from headaches – the most common being tension-type headaches and migraines. A study of MS pain (including headaches) found that “in 68% [of the subjects] insufficient care by the physicians consulted was reported. This was even true for the most frequent pain, migraine, in which clear treatment recommendations exist. There is thus an urgent need for physicians to keep this problem in mind when treating MS patients.”3 Another study from the University of California Davis Headache Clinic found evidence that suggests “dysfunction within the midbrain/periaqueductal gray matter caused by a demyelinating plaque …increases the incidence of headache in patients with MS”4"

Link here: [url][/url].


Last edited by Weasel64; 07-11-2007 at 12:56 AM.

Old 07-12-2007, 02:53 AM   #12
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Inchvbeam HB User
Re: Tiny non-specific spots on MRI

rachel4123 , u're not taking anything for ur dizziness etc?

Old 07-12-2007, 06:23 AM   #13
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rachel4123 HB User
Re: Tiny non-specific spots on MRI

No, i tired taking antivert (meclizine), but it just makes me tired and only masks the problem. I don't take anything except ginger tabs for nausea.
Most of the doctors don't know if anything that can treat dizziness... (that I have been told anyway)

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