It seems like it has been ages since I last posted in this forum lol. Anyway, I thought I would give you all an update on my progress. My new neurologist did a nerve conduction test and they came out fine; however, looking at old MRI's and spinal tap test concerns her a little. The spinal test showed (from what she says) a small positive meaning I'm borderline MS. What exactly does that mean? She wants to run more test, which drives me crazy lol. Why do I have to go through this all over again? The heat here in Las Vegas is killing me with all of the running I have to do and think I have no more energy left. I am always feeling worn out. Any suggestions?
Glad to hear from you again. A nerve conduction test is not a test for MS and will only reveal peripheral neuropathy in arms and legs. If your test is normal it doesn't rule out MS, since that only damages nerves in the brain and spine. Optic nerves, too.
If your doc sees an abnormality in your spinal tap, that means oligoclonal bands are present in the spinal fluid, which indicates that inflammation is present in the CNS; that can be a strong indication of MS. Borderline might mean that she doesn't see as many o-bands as she would like for an MS diagnosis.
Testing and retesting is par for the course, no way around that.
Stay out of the heat, chain yourself to the nearest A/C, and don't move, lol. If you absolutely have to be out in it, consider purchasing a cooling vest or cooling neck wrap, a lot of MSers swear by those.
My neurologist showed me my MRI's and is still little weary on whether I have MS or stroke. She says they was white matter hyperintensites located supraventricular and periventricular (largest at the left vertex measures) which puzzle her even more. I have an EEG test tomorrow, MRI with and without contrast, and a spinal lumbar tap on the 23rd 3 days before my neck surgery. I'm so scared, tired and weak that I have been mostly in my bed. I am going out of my mind here. Why does it take so long to diagnose MS? I feel like pulling my hair out, well if I actually had the strength and energy to do it lol. Could you shed some light on this Kim?
Reading a scan is tricky, it takes a very practiced eye to distinguish MS-like lesions. They typically have an oval shape, with one of the poles touching the ventricle and extending out like fingers. That said, it's a little more complicated, there are plenty of variables. So we should cut your doc some slack.
The significance of O-bands in the spinal fluid relies solely the comparison to O-bands also present in the blood serum. A blood sample should be taken the same day as the LP is performed. If there are 10 O-bands in the spinal fluid and 10 in the blood serum, it is assumed that there is an infection--say, from a virus--and it has crossed over into the CNS. But, if there are 10 O-bands in the spinal fluid and only 3 in the blood serum, then the spinal fluid is positive for 7 O-bands. If there are 10 O-bands in the spinal fluid and 0 bands in the blood serum, that's a clear indication that inflammation is occurring only in the Central Nervous System--and that could be caused by MS, stroke, and several other possibilities. Hope that makes sense.
You should also have a spine MRI, has that been scheduled, too?
So, you see why it can be so hard to diagnose MS. Other possibilities have to be ruled out first--and there are SO many differential diagnoses to consider. Neurologists have my sympathy, lol.
Thank you for shedding some light and putting me at ease. I had an EEG last Friday (I hope it comes out good), but I have not had a MRI of the spine with or without contrast since 2008 or 2009. She won't order that test until after my surgery. She said something about not being able to have an MRI of my brain for at least 2-3 months after my surgery. So the MRI of my spine will have to wait I guess. You are right. I should cut my neurologists some slack. I'm just nervous and scared, but also hate playing the waiting game to (if you know what I mean lol). My MRI of the brain is this Tuesday and spinal tap is next Tuesday, so I will not know any of the results until August 20th.(maybe sooner if the spinal test comes sooner). Thank you so much Kim and I will keep in touch.
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