Do lesions disappear from MRIs when you are symptom free?

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Do lesions disappear from MRIs when you are symptom free?

Postby IceSkate » Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:43 pm

Hi,

Do lesions disappear from MRIs when you are symptom free?

I ask because I lost my sense of taste for 2 months, and I had numbness throughout my body. The doctor ordered an MRI, and by the time I had it (several months later), the symptoms were gone, and I felt fine. There was nothing on the MRI.

I know I shouldn't worry about it - but it was such an alarming experience.

Thank you
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Re: Do lesions disappear from MRIs when you are symptom free

Postby eric593 » Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:16 pm

Symptoms don't typically disappear because lesions have disappeared. Lesions can and do disappear though. Symptoms often disappear when the inflammation in the central nervous system lessens, although the lesions can remain. So you can have no present symptoms but a headful of lesions. You can also have symptoms with no discernable lesions on MRI...sometimes the damage is too small to be picked up on MRI.

You have to remember that 'MS' is what they call it when other causes of demyelination have been ruled out - there are numerous causes of demyelination and neurological symptoms outside of what we call 'MS' which is the category where they don't actually know what has caused the demyelination. The diagnosis is given when other causes have been ruled out and a person has a pattern of neurological symptoms that has occurred over time and lesions that appear typical to those seen in MS. So it may take a while to get the diagnosis because the diagnosis requires symptoms to present at different times.

So yes and no. Lesions and symptoms can disappear in MS, and lesions can remain when symptoms disappear too.
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Re: Do lesions disappear from MRIs when you are symptom free

Postby Bender » Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:34 pm

over the stretch I felt best since being diagnosed with MS (I seem to have been diagnosed at the start of a change in slope... durp) i actually developed 3 new lesions which are the only ones I have had that did not enhance with contrast. So it seems like my feeling good then had more to do with not being inflamed than it did with not having lesions.
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Re: Do lesions disappear from MRIs when you are symptom free

Postby IceSkate » Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:52 pm

I guess I do not understand the difference between inflammation and lesions.

I had problems for 1 and a half years. I had really bad abdominal pain every day that felt like a belt was wrapped tightly around my waist. I ended up in the hospital because my body wasn't staying hydrated, even though I was drinking normally (their best guess was a virus that was causing me to be dehydrated). Then I had problems with lightheartedness/rapid heart beat when I stood, and massive fatigue (I went from running/biking everyday to having trouble carrying laundry up stairs). Then, my body went numb for about a week, and I lost my sense of taste entirely for 2 months. After that, I seemed OK.

The doctors did so many tests. They found hypothyroidism, and gave medicine to correct it about half-way through all these symptoms.

I had an MRI after I got better that was clear.

Not sure what was going on or if it will come back.

How long do people feel OK between symptoms of MS?
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Re: Do lesions disappear from MRIs when you are symptom free

Postby HappyPoet » Sun Jan 20, 2013 10:02 am

An "MS" lesion has a life cycle which happens in this order: Inflammation (lesion is 'active' and enhances on MRI with contrast), gliosis, demyelination, axonal loss, scar tissue formation, atrophy.

BUT, a lesion can heal (though the delicate tissue of the cord/brain will never be 100% again). Inflammation can stop and recede, remyelination and rewiring can occur, and even gray matter atrophy can reverse.

Hope this helps.
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Re: Do lesions disappear from MRIs when you are symptom free

Postby andreagwolford » Sun Feb 03, 2013 4:14 am

That's possible. Symptom free patient can have lesions in brain. I heard about this lady who had no symptoms of MS but had a whole brain full of lesions on her first MRI which had never before "spoken up."
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