Quick overview, then question -
I'm 50 yrs old. In 2003 I was having symptoms such as right side (arm/leg) weakness, tingling on right side of my face and down the outer edge of my right arm, occasionally outer edge of right leg, fatigue, occasional difficulty swallowing. My PCP was very concerned about MS and had scheduled an MRI. The day before my MRI, I had my first ever seizure. Ended up hospitalized, lots of testing by a horrible neurologist. Seizure continuted, eventually diagnosed with epilepsy and the original symptoms had resolved in the meantime. Had two episodes of return of symptoms, although much less severe, in 2008 and 2014, both times new neurologist just increased seizure meds. Seizures have been well controlled (none) since 2012. Then this September seizures have returned. Two weeks ago many of the original symptoms returned, right side weakness, fatigue, tremors in right arm, difficulty writing, clumsiness.
I know that I am not a physician (am a nurse though), but I am feeling like I have been having MS episodes this whole time, mixed in with my seizures. I mentioned the concern about MS to my new neurologist at Vanderbilt and am having an MRI this week, but as he is an epilepsy specialist I feel like he is focused on that.
I guess my question is, will an MRI of the brain help with a diagnosis (or rule out) MS? Also, is it possible to have MS over the last 15 years and not be diagnosed?
Thanks for any input! Feeling a bit stressed currently, as symptoms and seizures have me unable to work/drive/leave the house for the last few weeks.
I'm sorry to hear that you are having the issues. I hope they figure out what is going on and get you some relief.
Im not a doctor either, I'm just a broken firefighter.
I think it is possible to have MS that long and it not have it diagnosed if they are not looking for it.
the MRI will show lesions (if their there). MRIs can show new and old lesions. But it doesn't necessarily prove or disprove MS. The doctors use it as a tool to put the puzzle pieces together to figure out if its MS.
When I started with left side arm and leg issues, I had lesions on my cervical spine as well as on my brain.
i hope this helps to put your mind at ease and they figure out what is going on.
This is Steve with the National MS Society.
An MRI can not alone confirm or rule out MS, however it is used as a very powerful indicator. Here is specific information about how MRI is used in the MS diagnosis process:
Best of luck to you. If you ever have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at 1-800-344-4867 or explore our website for information: www.nationalmssociety.org