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What is the difference....
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What is the difference....

between Fibromyalgia and MS? My mom has Fibro (diagnosed by a Rheumatologist), I have all the same symptoms, but many people keep telling me that my symptoms are reminiscient of MS. She has not been tested for MS yet, but has an appointment with a neurologist in August. My appointment is in September. The GP that we share feels this is probably genetic.

What are the specific differences esp. where symptoms are concerned?
Thank you.
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976449_tn?1248186489
I should probably point out that I am unable to have an MRI and my CT scan came back normal.
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Avatar_f_tn
The two are very different though they share similar symptoms.  MS is a neurological disease that causes progressive damage to the central nervous system.  There is true damage that can be seen as plaques on MRI.  It can also be diagnosed by abnormal findings found on spinal fluid during lumbar puncture.  There is loss of function such as paralysis of a limb.

Fibro is not a disease.  It is a group of symptoms without a known cause (syndrome).  There is no permanent damage going on though it causes lots of symptoms that can be debilitating.  Fibro is a diagnosis of exclusion.  Meaning testing usually comes out normal.

The two have common symptoms such as numb feelings, tingling etc...However there is a difference between numb feelings ( but if you touch it you actually have sensation) vs. numbness where there is true loss of sensation. (more consistent with MS).  

There are lots of other symptoms and info. in the health pages you can read.  I think everyone who has neurological symptoms should have a full neurological work up including an MRI of the brain.  Early MS can be misdiagnosed as fibro.
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Avatar_f_tn
CT is not the best test to look for lesions.  You could have VEP's (visual evoked potentials) done.  The neurologist should be able to tell you if you need further testing based on his or her exam.
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976449_tn?1248186489
Thank you Patsy. Unfortunately I cannot have an MRI. My CT scan came back normal. I have read up some on the health pages and while they do tell about similarities, they do not tell about differences, as far as I could figure anyway!

I am curious about the differences in symptoms. Besides an MRI, with what symptoms would one suppose Fibro as opposed to MS and vice versa?
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976449_tn?1248186489
Thank you agin for your second post patsy, but what  are Visual evoked potentials?
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Avatar_f_tn
The difference is permament disability from actual damage to the central nervous system. (MS).  Like being in a wheel chair and unable to walk because your leg doesn't work.  With FMS there is pain, weakness but the leg still works.  It just hurts and fatigues.   There are two many symptoms to list.

VEP's is a test where you look at a flashing TV screen with a black and white checkerboard pattern.  Electrodes are attached to your head.  It is a test to look for optic neuritis which is common in MS.
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976449_tn?1248186489
Thank you Patsy! That explains a lot. I keep telling my mom and GP that I can walk, but have to FORCE myself to do so due to sheer exhaustion. For me, it feels more like lack of energy to move rather than a lack of the signal getting to the muscle.
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641819_tn?1240329530
Yeah. Fatigue can be a real problem with both, but it's generally MS that brings out more of the actual 'can't do it'. It's when you start gaining other things such as the symptoms disappearing and then coming back, lack of limb control or incontience or whatnot that they start really getting suspicious.
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Avatar_n_tn
I've had many ms symptoms for 5 mths now.  My neuro said it's fibro.  I'm seeing a MS specialist next week to see if I can get a better answer.  I want to confirm it's not MS and if it is at least I'll be able to start treatment.
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Avatar_f_tn
You may want to get tested for lyme disease if it has not already been done.  It can mimick MS.
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