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Can MS only affect spinal cord?

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Old 01-16-2002, 07:48 AM   #1
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abcsoup HB User
Question Can MS only affect spinal cord?

Hi...I've been dealing with strange symptoms for the past 5 years..mainly a pins and needles sensation in my left foot (also a tightness there) and also in my right side of my back. On occasion I also can have tingling and numbness in my face or left fingertips. Over the past 5 years, I've seen general MD's (diagnosed me with anxiety), 3 neurologists, had 1 CAT scan, 2 brain MRI's (the last one this past November, entirely normal), blood work (normal) and one evoked potentials test (normal). I have never had a spinal cord it possible to have MS lesions on JUST your spinal cord, and not brain? My last neuro said this was extremely rare.... should I go back to him and request a Spinal MRI? Thanks much!

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Old 01-17-2002, 03:19 PM   #2
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Nowhereville Illinois USA
Posts: 63
its-me-sue HB User

Yes, you can have lesions show up only in your spine. With there being no lesions on your brain and all your other tests being negative though, I would question your having MS. Did they do a lumbar puncture? If not and to put yourself at ease, maybe you can go back to the neuro doc and request the lumbar puncture and an MRI of the cervical spine.
Good Luck,

Old 01-18-2002, 12:08 PM   #3
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 7
msmom419 HB User

I have had 12 MRI's in past 2 years (9 during a clinical study) and the only lesions I have are on my spine so it is entirely possible to have MS and no lesions on the brain. However, if all of your other tests are showing up normal, I would question whethere it is in fact MS. Has your neuro done a lumbar puncture? That should at least tell something of what's going on.

Old 01-18-2002, 02:15 PM   #4
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: USA
Posts: 8
quickiewickie HB User

All of your questions about spinal involvement and no brain lesions rhyme with mine. I've been diagnosed with probable Devic's disease. Or neuromyelitis optica. It only invovles the spinal cord and not the brain. It mimics M.S. inmany ways which is why it is not properly tested. There are a lot if uninformed Doc.'s out there. Get a Lp looking for Oligoclonal bands, which are usually present in M.S. Then a spinal MRI to see if there are any lesions there. If so look up Devic's and talk to your Doc. I went 32 months before I went to the Mayo Clinic and got some answers. Go to the Doc. with info and options and see if he/she is actually a practising physician. There's always options.

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