Welcome to ThisIsMS, mdhilsi.
Like you, my first MRI came back "normal" and the neuro said that I definitely did not have MS – he was WRONG. Two more MRIs with different neuros were also normal – EMG and VEP were also normal. The fourth MRI indicated MS.
I tend to believe that if you see a surgeon about a problem, he will find a solution in surgery; if you see a neuro, he will only see the problem/solution in neurology. I read an article that summed this up well: "doctors are experts in, and only test for, those parts of the body in which they specialize."
Numbness/tingling in your hands is called peripheral neuropathy. Consider the following the exam guidelines put out by the University of Chicago – your primary care doctor could begin by ordering the blood tests to rule out common conditions that mimic MS:http://peripheralneuropathycenter.uchic ... #bloodtest
Blood tests are commonly employed to check for vitamin deficiencies, toxic elements and evidence of an abnormal immune response.
Depending on your individual situation, your doctor may request certain laboratory tests to identify potentially treatable causes for neuropathy. These include tests for:
Vitamin B12 and folate levels
Thyroid, liver and kidney functions
Oral glucose tolerance test
Antibodies to nerve components (e.g., anti-MAG antibody)
Antibodies related to celiac disease
Hepatitis C and B