Here is My Question:
Hi, I was diagnosed with MS in 2018. I had a negative spinal tap so it was a long road of ruling out other possibilities. About every 3-4 months I ended up having a hug episode of denial were I have to do a bunch of research and review my MRIs over and over and try to explain away my symptoms. It is excruciating. I finally told my neuro the other day and she is going to test me for MOG as one last rule out. After looking into it, I read that it is mostly associated with optic neuritis and transverse myelitis but I’ve had neither.
I do have 2 spinal cord lesions and several periventricular lesions, cortical lesions, and lesions in and around the corpus callosum. No intratentorial lesions or cerebellar lesions. I don’t have mobility issues so I think that’s my biggest thing. I also don’t have the usual relapses or suddenly having to go to the hospital and have never had enhancing lesions. I also have black holes on T1 for pretty much all of my brain lesions. I have some mild atrophy too. I have cognitive issues causing me to be on disability and a terrible MS hug pain unless I take trileptal. I have mild nystagmus and a significant tremor. I also have some occasional incontinence. Very bad cold intolerance. And other things. My MS specialist says mine is mold and definitely not primary progressive.
Anyway, what would the differentials for those findings be? Are black holes associated with other neurological issues? Are black holes and white matter lesions like this ever a normal finding? Have you ever seen people not have usual relapses but just have accumulating slow progression in symptoms and no walking issues? Have you ever had an MS patient never have enhancing lesions or optic neuritis?
I’m just looking for differentials to consider if any to discuss with my doctor and wondering if these are ever “normal” to see on an MRI.
P.S. I’m a Nurse Practitioner
You raise some very good questions about MS diagnostic criteria. Let me touch on a couple of points and show you where many physicians make mistakes in the interpretation of diagnostic data.
I hope this information helps.
Revere (Rip) Kinkel MD
Director of the Multiple Sclerosis Program
Professor of Clinical Neurosciences
University of California San Diego
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