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how does spinal tap diagnose MS, & can it diagnose anything else?

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Old 06-06-2005, 09:47 AM   #1
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Rorie HB User
how does spinal tap diagnose MS, & can it diagnose anything else?

I am at a point where I think I WANT a spinal tap because I am so up in the air. I have more than 8 white spots on my brain and lots of MS symptoms, but the neurologist said he doesn't think the spots look like MS. So he did some blood tests to check for lyme and other things. That was all negative, so now he is doing nothing.

I need to know what is going on. Sometimes my symptoms can get scary and my list of symptoms grows almost daily. I didn't have tingling to begin with, but now it is a daily part of life. (The neurologist doesn't know about the tingling yet.) When I saw the neuro, my main symptoms were spasms, tremors, blurry vision, hearing trouble, aches and pains.

He said a spinal tap wasn't worth it right now because he doesn't think it is MS. So would a spinal tap be useful in diagnosing anything else? And how does it confirm MS? What would it show if I had MS?

Thanks for "listening"!

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Old 06-06-2005, 11:06 AM   #2
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fancycanelady HB User
Thumbs up Re: how does spinal tap diagnose MS, & can it diagnose anything else?

The fluid in a spinal tap would show abnormal antibodies that would suggest MS. The tap is also used to detec Lyme disease,white blood cells in the fluid suggest an infection in the brain or spinal cord, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, and other inflammatory diseases - that's the catch, none of the books I've read tell what those diseases are - I think you would have to look up inflammatory diseases and see if any of the symptoms you're having are similar. Can your primary doctor refer you to a second neuro for a second opinion? Since this disease is so iffy, alot of so-called specialists out there dismiss things that they deem not important when it could very well be the one thing they need to explore more. My symptoms are as long as my (tingling!) arm, yet it was the optic neuritis that prompted another looksee. Have you had your eyes checked recently? Again, I go to an opthamologist for all my eye appointments instead of an optometrist. You really have to educate yourself as much as possible. I've brought things to my docs attention over the years. Fortunately I have a primary doc who listens! Besides MS, I've had 13 operations over time - 5 of them being on my back, so I can pretty much say, I've learned a thing or two!! Get in there and demand some answers!

Old 06-06-2005, 01:11 PM   #3
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Rorie HB User
Re: how does spinal tap diagnose MS, & can it diagnose anything else?

I dont' really know the difference between an opthamalogist and an optometrist...guesss I need to do some research huh? It is time for me to check my eyes checked again. I am having eye pain/blurry vision.

Unfortunately I've had an incredibly hard time getting my doctors to pay any attention. Things changed for awhile when they first discovered spots on my brain...they jumped on that...but then when the blood tests were negative and the MS specialist didn't think it was MS, they just dropped the subject.

I guess I have to keep trying to find doctors who will listen. Thanks for your response!

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