Can you tell us a little about what brought your doctor's to diagnose you with MS? We would love to hear some of your experiences, signs and symptoms.
Neurologists argue as to whether Devic's syndrome is a completely different disease to MS or whether it a variant of it. The most obvious difference between the two is that Devic's typically attacks the optic nerve chiasma, optic tract, and spinal cord - usually bilaterally - whereas MS lesions can be anywhere in the CNS white matter albeit with a preference for the optic nerve, brainstem, corpus callosum and periventricular regions.
The two conditions are very similar and are both demyelinating disorders, as you may already know. The differences between the two, I believe is explained in my second paragraph..
Again, we would love to know more about you and your road to diagnosis of MS. And also, we are glad you posted. Again Welcome...
I think Heather gave you some good information. There is also some info about Devic's disease at http://www.mayoclinic.org/devics-disease. The Mayo Clinic has also developed a blood test that is fairly accurate for Devic's. I had this blood test (I think because I have mostly spinal cord lesions) so at the time I read up on it.
As I understand it, even though they are similar in many ways, it is important to try to distinguish Devic's from MS because the treatment options are different. Here is a link to a comparison of Devic's and MS: http://www.mayoclinic.org/devics-disease/about-devics.html
Thanks for the the help. I have seen 5 neurologists, and the only thing they agree on is that I have essential tremor and something else but none will commit to a diagnosis. I have had multiple bouts of optic neuritis & my neuro-ophthalmologist does not understand why they can't see the obvious. He says MS or Devic's. I had a blood test done last week and do not have the results yet. I am ready to quit trying! Thanks again,
Also, I understand that the spinal fluid results tend to differ in Devic's and RRMS. The spinal fluid tends to be normal or near normal in the areas that RRMS is abnormal, such as for oligoclonal bands. That is part of the reason some people speculate that it may be a different disease entity.
Also, the lesions can have a different appearance and predilection of location than the typical RRMS lesions do.
I am not a doctor; just thought that I would chime in! And I have also read that the treatments are generally different as shoshin stated.
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