I am one woman with MS that DOES have a lesion in my spine. It is high in the thoracic region. It is very common with MS to have lesions in both the brain and the spinal cord, but is not necessarily a "must have" to get a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis.
All the lesions that they are attributing to me having MS or in the spine. Just like lesions in the head, though, they have to exclude whether they are from arthritis, stroke or circulation problems, tumor, infection, transverse myelitis, ADEM, etc. etc. Also, to further complicate things, people can develop lesions due to two or more ongoing medical problems. So, that is where the diagnosis get really hairy. I have multiple lesions in the spine. I also have WMA in the brain. For the last six years, they have been attributing my WMLs to migraine and have read my scan as normal (and never even mentioned the WMLs) and read my initial lesion as all different diagnosis from normal, artifact (even though it has been on more than one MRIs--unbelievable) to a birth defect to nothing to worry about, etc., etc. You get the picture. So, a person can have two or more different disease processes and a physician will not diagnose the MS disease because they say that the lesions are from various sources and not the disease of MS itself. However, MS means multiple sclerosis--more than one lesion in the central nervous system. So, technically, it is like having MS lesions and symptoms as a secondary disease process rather than the primary disease. At least, that is the way I understand it.
However, when there are lesions in the spine it is often easier to diagnose MS than with lesions just in the brain as brain lesions can have so many other sources as compared to spinal lesions. Also, spinal lesions often tend to show more motor problems early on then brain lesions. Which could also make observation and diagnosis more definitive. I am not a doctor; but, I hope that I have this correct and that this helps. Good luck!
This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information.
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. Med Help International, Inc. is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.