An MRI has confirmed that my husband has a spinal cord lesion (not sure where located exactly). The MRI also showed he had black spots on his brain. The Neurologist said this means MS. He had a spinal tap done yesterday and is waiting for those results as well. Is there any chance that this is not MS and could be something less permanent? And does this lesion heal and let him feel "normal" again?
The scanning of the brain in MS would reflect perivascular inflammation and breakdown of blood-brain barrier. However, MS is difficult to diagnose in its early stages. Definite diagnosis cannot be made until other disease processes (differential diagnoses) have been ruled out and, in the case of relapsing-remitting MS, there is evidence of at least two anatomically separate demyelinating events separated by at least thirty days. In the case of primary progressive, a slow progression of signs and symptoms over at least 6 months is required
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) of the brain and spine is often used during the diagnostic process. MRI shows areas of demyelination (lesions) as bright spots on the image. Gadolinium, is administered intravenously to highlight active plaques and, by elimination, demonstrate the existence of historical lesions not associated with clinical symptoms. This can provide the evidence of chronic disease needed for a definitive diagnosis of MS.
Also, evaluation of Cerebrospinal fluid is recommended for the diagnosis of inflammatory conditions.
The medical treatment options for MS include,
Three interferons: two formulations of interferon beta-1a (Avonex and Rebif) and one of interferon beta-1b (Betaseron). A fourth medication is glatiramer acetate (Copaxone). The fifth medication, mitoxantrone, is an immunosuppressant also used in cancer chemotherapy. Finally, the sixth is natalizumab (marketed as Tysabri). All six medications are modestly effective at decreasing the number of attacks and slowing progression to disability.
Comparisons between immunomodulators (all but mitoxantrone) show that the most effective is natalizumab, both in terms of relapse rate reduction and halting disability progression; it has also been shown to reduce the severity of MS.The diagnosis cannot be confirmed until all tests are done.The treatment of MS aims to maintain the quality of life.
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