If a person has an attack (numbness and tremors) about a year and a half ago but then the MRI is negative and neurological exam is normal, what is the chance that it could turn into definite multiple sclerosis? In May they repeated the MRI for brain and it was normal. I am frustrated as I know this is MS! My blood work was all normal. Why do MS doctors say that MRI can determine whether it is MS?
It is very rare for an MRI of the brain to remain normal for prolonged periods of time in definite cases of MS. There is limited data on the topic, but most people with MS develop brain abnormalities within 5 years, if not sooner. These people also tend to experience a more benign form of MS. There are many conditions that causes symptoms and findings similar to MS and there is no reason to rush into a diagnosis. The real question is why are you so convinced you have MS and why would you want to rush the diagnosis?
Perhaps the best solution is to seek a second opinion from an MS specialist. You may have to travel a little but it is probably worth it and you have these concerns.
Revere (Rip) Kinkel MD
Director of the Multiple Sclerosis Program
Professor of Clinical Neurosciences
University of California San Diego