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Saybrook 07-20-2007 06:42 PM

changes in white part of brain ....MS?
I had an MRI this week and they called me to tell me that there are changes happening in the white portion of my brain. I have to see a neuro next friday. Someone said possible MS. Could that be true?

cjn 07-21-2007 05:56 AM

Re: changes in white part of brain ....MS?
Hi Saybrook, I'm curious why you had the MRI and what symptoms have you been having? Lesions do show up on MRI's as demylenation, several other things can cause the lesions as well but to answer your question, yes, it's a possibility and usually the neurologist will order more test's to confirm it.
I had my MRI done the end of May and I too have lesions, will be seeing the Neuro in 3 weeks, sometimes all this waiting around makes it even harder but it's the way it is here. (The dr told me he'd rush my case since waiting lists are 3 months appt ended up being 2 1/2 months:( )
I do wish you luck with the diagnosis and hope you've been reading around in here, there's a lot of info for the laymen to understand..if you don't just ask, everyone here seems eager to help out. Good luck and this too can be controlled, it's just a PITA but could be worse. :)

Sarahlou 07-21-2007 08:19 AM

Re: changes in white part of brain ....MS?
Hey Saybrook,

I also had white spots show up on my brain MRI and have been told its possible MS but i'm awaiting more tests!! All this hanging around is very frustrating but try and stay strong and positive!!


Saybrook 07-21-2007 08:36 AM

Re: changes in white part of brain ....MS?
Hi. Thanks for the info. About 4 weeks ago, I started to tingly sensations in my left arm. It then stopped but started in my hands. The doc told me to wait 2 weeks if it didn't go away to go back. Well I did. They took blood to test for gout & lyme, bith came back negative. Then they ordered the mri of the brain. Also, I've been tired. She called me the same day I had the mri (wed. 7/18) and said that there were changes in the wite matter of the brain. I don't know what "changes" mean. It was my first mri, so by "changes" what are they comparing it to. What are lesions or spots? I've read on this board and the use of those 2 words keeps coming up.


cjn 07-21-2007 08:50 AM

Re: changes in white part of brain ....MS?
Hi, 'changes' as recorded by the radiologists as he knows a normal MRI from an abnormal one...changes more than likely stating 'activity' or 'lesions' that are not normal for him to detect in an average or normal MRI. Kinda like that..:cool: But most MS specialists will want to see the MRI themselves and make their own GP has no idea about the lesions, he sent me directly to the MS Society Neurologist here in my neck of the woods.
Tingeling and fatigue are definetly neurological and can be many things, MS has several types and it's going to take the visit along with the recommendations of testing for you to be diagnosed. I'm in the same boat right now with you..waiting for the next step. Hang on and learn as much as you can along with documenting your symptoms for your records.

MSNik 07-21-2007 09:45 AM

Re: changes in white part of brain ....MS?
Just alittle side note, there is NO white part of the brain....the brain, on an MRI, shows up as grey. What is white, are legions. Legions, are scar tissue. Scar tissue is formed from EVERYTHING FROM A MIGRANE to demylination, which is part of MS. And, twenty other things in between.

Scar tissue, which is actively being formed, is shown with contrast on an MRI. Contrast is the die which is injected into your arm- not always done, but when checking for MS, usually done. By seeing where the white legions are- this is a clinically suggested verification that this would coincide with the symptoms one is having. Of course the whole other side to this, is you can have symtoms and NOT have anything show up on the MRI...

To get scared, based on a report is pre-mature. You do need to talk to the Neuro next week and get confrimation of what was said and the meantime, try to KEEP copies of both the film and the report....AN MS specialist will probably NEVER look at the report, as they are usually more comfortable reading the films themsevles, but should you need another opinion, having those films with you would be helpful. Most MRI centers will make you a copy.

Good luck next week.

Saybrook 07-22-2007 05:13 AM

Re: changes in white part of brain ....MS?
Well, for the past few days, I've been having weird sensations in the back of my head, above my neck & hair line. It's always on the right side. It feels sore, throbbing and it hurts. I don't know why. Any ideas?

Saybrook 07-24-2007 02:51 AM

Re: changes in white part of brain ....MS?
What are other options that the symptoms could be from? Someone mentioned lyme through MS. I tested negative to lyme. Just curious?

MSNik 07-24-2007 04:17 AM

Re: changes in white part of brain ....MS?
Over 80% of Lyme tests come back negative. Its one of those tests where you have to be worried about a false negative.
The only true way to do a Lyme test is with Spinal Fluid.You can have it done that way. You can also send BLOOD work to Igenex in California, which has a diffrent way of completing the tests; thus getting a truer result. They have an excellent reputation.

Avenue Q 07-24-2007 01:16 PM

Re: changes in white part of brain ....MS?
MSNik... In your post, you mentioned that lesions, are scar tissue. Would that mean if there was anything proven new, in the MRI. It would be referred to as "new activity"?. and not, white matter, nor a lesion....but new activity?, And would mean that this ,'new activity', that is newly seen should coincide with what symptoms one should be having?. But then again on the other side of the can have a problem , and have nothing showing?. This doesn't really seen to accurate to me, it sounds pretty much a contradiction. Its no wonder why lawyers won't, take a case when a person has MS. Your post on lesions vs white matter, was very informative, so thanks for the post on this info.

MSNik 07-24-2007 03:57 PM

Re: changes in white part of brain ....MS?
HI Avenue Q- I noticed you are from NJ, where? Im in doc is in New Brunswick, Dr. Jalbut at RW Johnson MS Center...thank you for the compliment on my post, but IM not entirely sure I understood what you were asking me. If I understood you right, then YES, any new activity would mean that they were seeing something (which IS a legion or a white spot) on the MRI. Scar tissue, or legions are NEW ACTIVITY. Now, keeping in mind, that WITH CONTRAST, those legions GLOW. And show up very bright on those films...those are what is called ACTIVE LEGIONS meaning they are either just forming or have just formed.

You also asked, can one have a problem and show nothing? If you mean not have it show up on the MRI, yes. There are tons of documented MS cases, where the MRI shows most cases, they are spinal legions, which show up in spinal tap fluid. Commonly referred to as the Obands, I do not have any of these, and really cant go into detail- but you could throw up a post asking someone to explain exactly what they are...Im positive you would get answers in detail. However, as for having symtpoms which do not show up on the MRI, sometimes, the legion (scar, or white dot) is too small for the image to be picked up....depending on what kind of MRI is used, some are stronger than others.....closed MRIs give the best picture, but many people elect to have open MRIs for claustrophobic, the white spot may not be detected on the film....also, if it is just forming, and CONTRAST is NOT ordered, it wont show up.

It can also take awhile...there is a huge difference between symptoms and actual episodes or relapses. They are usually determined by how long they last (With MS, symptoms come and go randomly) and if they are new, or if previous symptoms are returning. Usually a symptom has to last more than 24 hours and continually get worse for it to be a relapse, whereas, heat, or stress or exhuastion can bring on a symptom which will ease up when you cool down, take a nap, or a pill! :D

I really hope this helps....shout out if I can clarify anything I said..

Saybrook 07-24-2007 04:44 PM

Re: changes in white part of brain ....MS?
Okay. I got a report when I picked up my mri. It says " Several high signal foci within perventricular & subcortical white matter on the T2 & FLAIR sequences. A demeyelinating process cannot be excluded. The stella & pituitary glands are unremarkable." What does this mean to a lay person?

MSNik 07-24-2007 05:42 PM

Re: changes in white part of brain ....MS?
It means that there is evidence of white matter (legions) on the T2 and Flair sequences, located in the perventricular & subcortical areas of the brain. The fact that it also says that demeyelinating process cannot be excluded means that it is possible that you are having demeyelination, which is basically MS. MS attacks the Myelin sheaths, the protective coating around the nerves. When this happens, the legions, or scar tissue form.

The radiologist who read your MRI is seeing something - and stating that it cannot be ruled out; however Radiologists are FAMOUS for not reading the MRI in its entirety; only a trained MS Neurologist should be interpreting this for you and giving you his opinon. (and dont forget second opinions are available for a reason!)

The fact that it says the pituatary and stella glands are unremarkable, is a good thing it means that nothing is unusual about either of them...

Does that help?

Saybrook 07-25-2007 02:58 AM

Re: changes in white part of brain ....MS?
thank you so much. I'll be seing a neuro on Friday morning at 10 AM. I sure do wish today was Friday. This waiting is horrible.

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