MRI results - please "translate" into non-medical English

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MRI results - please "translate" into non-medical English

Postby SaintBernards4 » Fri Oct 07, 2011 5:13 pm

Hi, all...

I posted a few weeks ago about some of the neurological symptoms that I've been experiencing intermittently. In the meantime, I've seen my PCP and related to her what was going on. I expressly made certain not to mention that I was beginning to suspect MS as the cause but that was her conclusion, as well, at the end of my visit. In an effort to rule out other issues, she ordered a comprehensive lab panel and that will be drawn this coming Monday.

She also ordered an MRI of my brain with and without "enhancement", or whatever they term it. She called today and gave me the results. Unfortunately, I was on my cellphone & driving at the time so I was unable to write any of it down. She did her best to try to explain it to me, but it still doesn't necessarily make all that much sense to me. I was hoping that someone here could "translate" the medical-ese into something that I can comprehend. I'll do my best to quote what it was that she told me:

"Multiple white matter lesions in both hemispheres, possibly suggestive of demyelinating disease but other differential diagnosis such as Lyme disease, vascular disease, neurosarcoidosis or other inflammatory process cannot be excluded."

She also mentioned something about "Dawson's fingers" but I'm pretty sure that she said no definitive evidence of that was noted. What I DO remember very distinctly was that she said that there was "no evidence of brain tumors" and that "this report is probably the most ambiguous, essentially non-informative radiologic reading that I've ever gotten". She then added with a slight chuckle, "Nothing quite like covering it all so you can't be accused of being wrong".

I am a 43 yr. old white female with absolutely NO medical history whatsoever. I have no chronic medical issues, I've never had surgery, I don't smoke, I don't drink and my last cholesterol level was excellent at 157. My last fasting blood sugar was 87. My blood pressure usually runs about 117/68. I have a very hard time believing that this could be a vascular thing because of those results. Additionally, I can not at ANY time recall having an embedded tick and/or the skin rash that is so connected with Lyme, so I have a hard time buying that, as well.

The intermittent symptoms I've had:

Extreme fatigue with emotional lability
Tingling/burning in my feet, legs, hands and forearms that worsens dramatically with a hot shower or hot shoes.
I get the sensation that I have a shawl over my arms when there is nothing laying over them.
Weakness in my legs and arms to the point that my muscles burn like I've run a marathon after climbing just one flight of steps.
Multiple muscles twitches in my legs, as though popcorn is popping in them.
The muscles in my calves & thighs get so tight it feels like there's baseballs lodged in them.
I find myself losing my balance in situations that I normally don't & I stumble when there's nothing there.
I have trouble reading because my vision gets blurry and the words "jiggle" back and forth on the paper.


I have an appointment with a neurologist on Oct. 20th to try to figure this out, but I was hoping to get your take on these MRI results. Do I have MS, or not?
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Re: MRI results - please "translate" into non-medical Englis

Postby sou » Sat Oct 08, 2011 11:58 am

No forum member can tell whether you have MS or not. It would be irresponsible, since even qualified, experienced physicians require a lot of evidence and examinations before making a diagnosis. It seems that you have some abnormal lesions on your MRI. The best you can do at this time is have your MRI and your nervous system's function evaluated by a neurologist.

Good luck!
Shortest joke: "We may not be able to cure MS but we can manage its symptoms."
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Re: MRI results - please "translate" into non-medical Englis

Postby Cece » Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:18 pm

MS is a disease of exclusion. White matter lesions could be indicative of MS or of the other things mentioned in the report or other differentials too. Typically you will get tested for Lyme, or get a spinal tap, so that they can exclude other possible reasons for those lesions.

Best of luck through the process.
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Re: MRI results - please "translate" into non-medical Englis

Postby SaintBernards4 » Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:37 pm

Thank you, Cece, for your reply. At least mow I have some idea of where I might be headed when the appt with the Neuro finally gets here. I feel as though I'm left to twist in the wind, a thousand questions/fears bouncing around in my head, until the 20th so any info, even just small bits of what I might expect next, are greatly appreciated. Thank you, again!
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Re: MRI results - please "translate" into non-medical Englis

Postby chrishasms » Wed Oct 19, 2011 11:30 am

If that is your MRI above I too a crack at it. Reminds me of one I am very familiar with........mine!!

No I'm not a Dr. but I play one one TV and don't care if someone calls me irresponsible for taking what my doctor and radiologist taught me and using it. (They both happen to be very good friends of mine so I don't think they lied to me.) :)

I hope if I'm wrong its for all the right reasons!!
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Re: MRI results - please "translate" into non-medical Englis

Postby pinda15 » Wed Oct 26, 2011 12:26 pm

I have had 5 MRI's through 9 years and all show white matter lesions and the reports have said similar to yours. My lesions have slowly increased, many symptoms that have slowly increased, dx with possible MS, Central Nervous System Disorder. Saw the same Neurologist for 8 years, saw another one last Nov. and he ordered a lot of tests, blood work, and the last MRI I had. Lyme disease was tested for and showed up Reactive on Elisa test on 3 tests 4 weeks apart and Non reactive on Western Blot 2 tests and lab did not do the Western Blot the 3rd time, said non reactive the other two times so no need. The lab had asked for the extra two tests to be done 4 weeks apart. Why did they not do??? All other tests were negative, new Neurologist thought my problems were not MS related, did not know what it was and did not know why I tested postive for Lyme disease in one of tests. He recommened my Dr. to send me to some other specialists. Saw an Infectious Disease Dr. but she thought I had a false positive test for lyme disease because I could not remember if there had been a tick bit or in a known infected area. That could have been 10 or more years ago........She felt I may have something they could not diagnose, so suggestions of what to do. Found a retired Dr. here in B.C. who does know how to dx Lyme disease and has treated. He has helped direct me to testing in the States where the lab he suggested tests only for lyme disease and co-infections. Much better than what we get here in Canada. Tested positive for Lyme disease and Babesia, a co-infection. My family Dr. can not give long term antibiotics, saw a Naturopath who can perscribe them, treats lyme disease, and consults with the retired M.D. who helped direct me. On two antibiotics for Babesia, which needs to be treated first, and some small improvement in 2 weeks. Just at the beginning for learning and treating but could have been done years ago when I asked the first Neurologist to test for Lyme disease. He said I did not have. Needs to be a Lyme Literate Dr. to dx and treat. A long post but maybe helpful for some.
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