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normal brain MRI, MS?
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normal brain MRI, MS?

Hi
I just had a  brain MRI(with flair and contrast included but not MS specific protocol otherwise)..at any rate, I have been having multiple symptoms of MS(blurred vision, vertigo when looking down, seeing white flashers pass through field of vision, left arm gets numb and has nerve pain periodically over last 8 years, I feel weaker in both arms even though neuro exam was "normal" according to the drs(I feel weaker no matter what they think), drop things from left hand at times, have myoclonic-like jerks in arms and head that wax and wane for months at a time(movement disorder neuro said no to MS or Parkinson's solely by a neuro exam in office, and my concentration has declined in quality, as well as memory, and now having some GI problems as well). My brain mri said "normal" but I want to know if you can still have MS and not show any lesions in the brain? Or could it be a neuro-muscular disorder that the brain mri would not show evidence of?
thanks,
alison
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Hi Allison

Yes it is possible to have MS without lesions. Sometimes the lesions only show in your spine. I know a couple people here got dx'd with only one or a two lesions in the brain. Has your neuro ordered any other testing, like evoked potential tests, MRI of your c-spine and thoracic spine?

I am not sure about the neuro muscular disorders so I can't really comment on that. I do hope however that you follow through with this and get some answers.

Take Care,
Paula
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Hi, Alison, and welcome.

Most of your symptoms are seen in  MS, but could also result from many other disorders as well. I don't think anyone here can give an opinion about this, or about neuro-muscular diseases.

What we CAN do is give you support and point you to good information. I suggest you start with

http://www.medhelp.org/health_pages/Multiple-Sclerosis/How-Can-a-Person-with-MS-Have-a-Negative-MRI/show/161?cid=36

This is one of our Health Pages (see upper right of screen). You will also find many more entries that will be of interest. This is a great forum, so please stick around. We're glad to have you.

ess

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Paula and Ess,
Thanks for your help and I will be checking this forum regularly, it is good to hear from other people with similar situations/symptoms..I have read that link, thanks!!  I did have a cervical spine mri last year(but NO contrast and from what I am learning now about protocol being necessary on mri's, it was not followed on either of my mri tests as far as I know).. I see a neuro-musular dr tomorrow followed by a physiatrist in a few weeks...my neuro surgeon was kind enough to refer me over so maybe with all of them working on a diagnosis, I will have some sort of answers, HOPEFULLY!! And thinking I need to have my eyes checked again soon, just to make sure they are ok..thanks again,
alison
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Hi Alison,

I haven't been diagnosed yet, but my neurologist pretty much wrote off the possibility of MS because my brain MRI (done on a 1.5 T machine, no MS protocol) didn't show anything. However, MS is now back on the table because of my other symptoms, and I'll be having an MRI of both my cervical and thoracic spine next Monday (on a 3T machine with MS protocol).

I think similar things have happened to many other members here on the forum.

I really don't know much about neuro-muscular diseases, except that there can be a lot of overlap with MS symptoms. It does sound as though you are getting quite the team of specialists to help figure out what is going on with you, and I hope they can do so quickly so you have answers and can plan your next steps.

Let us know how your appointment goes with the neuro-muscular dr tomorrow.

Melissa
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Hi Melissa,

Thank you! Today did go well but I still don't have an answer as to what it is I have...her best guess was muscle spasms in neck and back causing nerve irritation in my arm(causing nerve pain and numbness)..however, she did not know why I was having myoclonic like jerks or vision problems, she thought the jerks I have look like a tic disorder but said she would leave that up to the movement disorder drs..I go see them again in December so maybe, just maybe I will have some kind of  answers in the next few months!

And she noted all my tender areas, thought fibro overlapping with something else..possibly other auto-immune stuff..but she also said(like other drs I have talked to) that fibro is just a "garbage can" to throw symptoms in until we have a more specific diagnosis(not that it is not real but that fibro covers so many different neurological/muscular symptoms that can later be identified as a different disorder/disease). She said maybe I would "grow into my disease", later showing more clinical symptoms that would match something specific..but until then, I just wait..

Waiting is tough stuff, and it has been 8 years of arm pain on and off, sometimes so bad that I can't even put it on the steering wheel! And my light sensitivity is getting completely out of hand(who needs sun glasses when it is raining out?) I am getting pretty tired of it all but realize there are so many more people dealing with this stuff and many in worse pain than me..and I am thankful to have a good team of drs:) Very blessed on that part of this situation!

I don't believe my MRI had T3, but it did have flair and dye and my neuro muscular dr today went through EVERY image with me and told me everything I wanted to know about my mri, she took an entire hour talking to me and explaining things:) She said my brain looked awesome, especially for someone who has had migraines (that made me feel a lot better)..I love it when they explain everything to you, just makes it easier :)

Good luck on your new mri tests, I sure hope you get it all figured out too! At least having an answer helps ease the situation some! It is unfortunate that sometimes people have to wait so long to find out what is wrong with them, good luck and keep us posted!

alison
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Your neuro muscular dr sure sounds like a keeper! It's wonderful that she took so much time with you and really went over your MRIs so well. It wish she could have given you more answers, but at least she's given you something to ask the movement disorder dr about.

I completely understand your what you mean about fibro - I have been diagnosed with it also. It can be hard to separate out so many of the symptoms. For me there were some pretty stark differences when my neurological issues started showing up, but how do you decide what's causing fatigue or the feeling of weakness in muscles? And to top it off, my spasticity causes muscle pain and joint pain. Confusing as all heck!

Thanks for the well wishing for my MRIs. I am trying so hard not to get my hopes too high that this will bring answers, but it's not working very well... I'm learning patience slowly.

Make sure you keep a list of symptoms and a timeline so you have them ready for the movement drs in December. And keep us up to date on how you're doing too!

Melissa
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Thanks and keep us posted as well:) I hope it goes great and you finally have an answer! It is hard when symptoms cross over into other disease/disorder symptoms...I seem to have two systems that are irriated but maybe it is an auto-immune that crosses over, who knows..
best of luck:)
alison
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