I have 3 MS lesions on my brainstem, my question is if my brainstem keeps being the target what is the future prognosis? Will it cause a stroke as these seem to be the symptoms I get when its active?
Brainstem and spinal cord disease from multiple sclerosis carry a greater risk of physical disability. A stroke is an entirely different condition and mechanism of injury than the demyelinating process of multiple sclerosis. When brainstem and spinal cord disease due to MS is identified, it is my opinion that an escalation in therapy may need to be considered (ie, an infusion therapy such as natalizumab or rituximab, for instance). It is always a task to find the right therapy for the specific patient, but when there is valid concern for significant disability in the future, I tend to be more aggressive in offering treatment. This is something you should discuss with your doctor.
A. Scott Nielsen MD MMSc
Neurologist and MS Specialist at Kaiser Permanente