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  • dizzy spells (15 seconds) - 4x per day ????

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    Old 04-18-2016, 10:10 PM   #1
    friend3333
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    dizzy spells (15 seconds) - 4x per day ????

    Out of the blue, my friend has had dizzy spells roughly 4x per day for the last 4 weeks. Each of these last about 15 seconds and occur randomly. She is in her late 20s and otherwise does not have symptoms and healthy. Is this a possible early symptom of MS? (Or would dizziness be expected to be continual if it was MS-related.)

    About 2 years ago she had an MRI for an unrelated event and the doctor told her the MRI was not normal and possibly consistent with MS (1 lesion). At that time she had no symptoms. However, as a result, her doctor recommended she get an MRI every 4-6 months. Her MRIs were unchanged until recently, there was another abnormality. (I do not know how significant the MRI change was, but i have the impression 1 potential new lesion that possibly coincided with the dizzy spells.)

    From my perspective (with limited knowledge), i would think the dizziness could be caused by many things and it would be hard to say this is MS. I would also think that multple MRIs should not have been given (?). However, regardless of these past things, her doctor wants to put her on MS medicine to prevent "future" attacks.

    Any thoughts/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

     
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    Old 04-19-2016, 05:48 AM   #2
    MSNik
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    Re: dizzy spells (15 seconds) - 4x per day ????

    Hi there. Some of what you wrote is correct. Dizzy spells can be from lots of things besides MS; however, an MRI shows lesions (scars from the disease) and where they appear, if it coincides with the part of the brain which is for balance, might equate that this is MS related.

    No doctor will start a patient on MS drugs unless the doctor is 100% sure that the patient has MS. The drugs cost upwards of 50,000$/ year and more- are covgered by all insurances, but will not be approved without a diagnosis. To get a MS dx, a patient has to meet the revised McDonald criteria...you can look that up if you wish. Your friend, might have more going on than you are aware of if the doctor is talking MS drugs. Are you sure he isnt just treating the symptoms of the dizziness?
    Because there is no cure for MS, the drugs which are used, are to prevent progression...they are not exact and do not work on everyone. There are several different MS drugs available and it is not uncommon to need to switch them up until the doctor finds the best one for the patient.

    Yes, MRIs are given every 4-6 months during the diagnostic phase...until a patient is dx, and usually for the first year, MRIs are done at a mimimum 2x a year and as often as needed thereafter. Meaning a new symtom usually results in another MRI. Its the only way to tell if the symptom is a result of damage to the brain/ spine/ eyes.

    I hope this helps. Please make sure your friend is seeing a MS Specialist and not a regular Neurologist during this important time.

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    Last edited by MSNik; 04-19-2016 at 04:13 PM.

     
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    Old 04-19-2016, 09:36 AM   #3
    MSJayhawk
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    Re: dizzy spells (15 seconds) - 4x per day ????

    friend3333,

    Welcome. Thanks for reaching out for your friend.

    When I get vertigo due to my MS, it persists for a day or two. 15 second intervals could mean anything from a drop in blood pressure or a drop in blood sugar or even a lesion or some electrical anomaly in her nervous system.

    A single lesion could possibly get her a diagnosis of Clinical Isolated Syndrome (CIS). CIS is one of the MS disease courses. CIS refers to a first episode of neurologic symptoms that lasts at least 24 hours and is caused by inflammation or demyelination (loss of the myelin that covers the nerve cells) in the central nervous system (CNS). The doctor would follow-up to see if new symptoms present or new lesions form.

    If your friend could keep a journal, this would benefit her and her doctor. That is, record when a symptom presents. Divide the symptoms into ones that last 24+ hours and those that are less than 24 hours. Some symptoms may vary in intensity but persist for 24+ hours. Some symptoms we might not even recognize or we may attribute to something else. (This was my case).

    I would encourage her to seek out an MS Specialist who can provide her with a definitive diagnosis before plying her with medication which may do little for her.

    At the top of the forum main page you can find information on locating and MS Specialist iif you require assistance.
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