i had a brain MRI done back in Feb 2003 on a 1.5 machine.
i had another brain MRI done last month on a T3 machine.
the first MRI showed no small areas of "non-specific white matter".
the second MRI showed the small areas (less than 10 spots) of "non-specific white matter".
so far my neurologist has found no evidence of MS aside from the spots and some symptoms that i have that she considers minor. she is basically ready to throw in the towel until i have more symptoms...or maybe i just never will (i hope and pray for this). my primary care physician said that the part that bothers her the most about my case is that in 2003 i didn't have the spots and now i do. she wants to pursue further testing to try to determine the cause (i love her).
so, my question is could those spots have been there in 2003 but because the strength of the machine was less, they were not picked up at the time.
Short answer: Highly unlikely. 1.5 Tesla machines do a pretty good job of showing what's going on in the brain. They're not as good at imaging the spine. Often times 3 Teslas show 'more of the same,' meaning if you had, for instance, 3 or 4 lesions in one part of your brain using 1.5T, and the next day had a 3T of the same area, more lesions might show. That's the only way you could know for sure what's what in the brain. So comparing apples to apples is the most scientific way.
However, in 2003 you had no lesions. In 2009, 6 years later, you have numerous? lesions. Meanwhile you've had other symptoms, I'm sure, and a relapsing/remitting pattern.
I agree with your PCP. There's a cause behind your symptoms, and your current neuro doesn't want to believe because she can't 'see' it. Too many are like that. Please keep on pursuing this. If your main symptoms are cognitive, go for neuropsych testing. That's the best way of showing decline such as you describe.
thank you. not exactly what i wanted to hear but good info and true info.
i did have neuropsych testing done and i passed it, functioning at a "high" cognitive level on all tests...even though i feel forgetful and foggy. my spine was clear. my bloodwork also clear. next up is the "evoked potential" test (not sure if i got that right) and then a lumbar puncture. despite my neuros desire to throw in the towel she keeps agreeing to further testing so i am going to stick with her until i get the evoked potential and lp complete and then will take all of my results to another neuro for a second opinion. not sure if i should find an MS specialist at this point because so far nothing points to MS but the white matter spots? thoughts? are there other tests you would recommend to either rule out or diagnose as MS?
i have never actually seen my MRIs. i am really curious to know what these spots look like. i also really don't know "where" they are on my brain. i have requested a CD of the MRI from 2003 and will also get a copy of the recent MRI and have someone go over it with me to show me the difference.
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