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    Includes Expert Content
    MS without spinal involvement?
    LakeSuperiorLady posted:
    Dr. Lava: I have been diagnosed with MS for 8 years. The last time I saw my neurologist, I was told that due to my spinal tap being negative although I have a 'markedly' abnormal brain MRI with multiple lesions, I probably don't have MS. My family doctor says I do, the neurologist says I don't, the MS specialist I saw one time says I 'most likely' do, and the neuro nurse practitioner says I definitely do. My family doesn't believe I have MS and think I 'overplay' my symptoms. I have significant cognitive problems, left leg weakness and occasional stumbling, extreme fatigue, and occasional 'MS hug' symptoms. The Social Security doctors said I have MS and was approved for SS the first time I applied. So, my question is this: Is it possible to have MS and not have lesions in the spine or an abnormal spinal tap? I'm just trying to get other opinions. Thanks! Jan Nash
    Neil S Lava, MD responded:
    Although it is rare, sometimes the spinal tap is normal in multiple sclerosis. Spinal cord lesions my not be seen on MRI and that does not mean you do not have multiple sclerosis.
    MysteryIlnessHelp replied to Neil S Lava, MD's response:
    I think this is what's happening to me. Dr. lava I could really use your help. I have quite a few MS symptoms (or at least I think?) Primary care doc think its MS Neuro NP said not MS because Spinal tap was normal. Neuro won't give me time of day to even see me. Primary is referring for second opinion. Already been diagnosed with one brain lesion on basal ganglia. Is this of importance? All these doctors saying no mkaing me think IM CRAZY! Am I?
    Neil S Lava, MD replied to MysteryIlnessHelp's response:
    Sometimes it can take a while to make a definitive diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. If you have only have one lesion on MRI the diagnosis is even harder to make. I think getting a second opinion is very important. You need to have a neurologist willing to follow you over time to see if new findings occur on examination or new changes occur on her MRI.
    I know it is hard to have symptoms without a diagnosis but try to be patient and with time things are usually more obvious.

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