This forum is for questions and support regarding What Causes Lyme Disease, Diagnosing Lyme Disease, Joint Pain issues, Living with Lyme Disease, Nervous System issues, Prevention, Risk Factors, Skin Disorders, Symptoms and Treatments.
I am not medically trained but it is my understanding that Lyme can cause damage that can appear on MRI similar to the damage caused by MS. When I was 28 my brain MRI scan had 7-8 lesions, a couple that were several cm in diameter near the corpus callosum, which gave worry that I had MS even though I was ultimately diagnosed with Lyme.
Lyme does not always cause lesions, though. Many people very sick from Lyme for a long time will have normal MRI's. Lyme is not diagnosed through MRI, but it can be diagnosed by blood tests and/or clinically through symptoms.
Do you think you have Lyme disease? Anyone being worked up for MS should look into Lyme as a possibility, in my opinion. While both can be very disabling, Lyme is more treatable.
I agree with Wonko's comments. Because MRIs cannot tell the difference between MS and Lyme, a Lyme specialist will often use another scan called a SPECT scan that operates in a different way from an MRI, so the test can find indications of Lyme that is clearly not MS.
Non-Lyme specialists tend to use MRI only, and the fuzzy spots that show up on an MRI look like MS to a doc who is not familiar with Lyme .... as many docs are not.
In your situation, I personally would find a Lyme specialist for a second opinion. My Lyme doc used a SPECT scan and it was very helpful in diagnosis, so then I was treated for Lyme and got well.
Wishing the same for you! Let us know if we can help further --
I have about 20 small fuzzy spots in my brain that look like small, old MS lesions (they're unenhanced). I had Lyme, Babesia, and Bartonella at the time they were found. I also had quite a few MS-like symptoms.
They don't know exactly why some Lyme patients get "lesions" and others don't. It is not a measurement of how sick you are, as some don't have any. Bartonella is believed to cause them, as well as the virus HHV-6. Migraines can also cause them, but I haven't had migraines as a symptom of Lyme.
So, if you're going through an MS work up, and you have some lesions, Lyme is still a possibility, even if you test "negative." I tested false negative on a screening test and a CSF test. I was also CDC negative on a Western Blot. IGeneX called my WB positive, though, as I had Lyme specific antibodies.
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