It has been one year since my first MRI which shows 3 new brain lesions. 1 in the gray matter and 2 in the white matter. Doe this mean the MS is active?
Unequivocal new white spots (also called T2 bright spots) on an MRI with an appearance typical of MS is an indication of activity since the prior MRI scan. This is more significant if the interval between the scans is relatively short, such as 6 to 12 months as in your case. If all that is seen is a new white spot, it is impossible to determine if this activity occurred a day after the initial scan or just in the past few weeks. This is most relevant if you started a new treatment sometime after the initial MRI scan and you are trying to determine if the new therapy is working well for you.
It would not be possible to determine if the new white spot occurred before the new therapy started working or after the new therapy started working if you there was a gap in time between the first MRI scan and the start of treatment. However, if any of the new white spots enhanced after the administration of contrast (usually something called gadolinium) then the activity is more recent, usually in the past 2-4 weeks.
You can type in "MRI" in the search box in the upper right corner of this page to read a lot more about MRIs and how to interpret them.
Hope this helps
Revere (Rip) Kinkel MD
Professor of Clinical Neurosciences
Director of the Multiple Sclerosis Program
Clinical Neurosciences Director
University of California San Diego