Monday, February 27, 2006

results to fill in the down time

at work with very little to do so i thought i would write.

this post is informational to anyone who wants to know more about ms, and for the people in my life, who might want to know how i am doing. if it seems like this is too personal, i apologize, but i want to educate and end stigma around many different things, and this is part of how i do that. my mri turned out pretty decently. there are three things that are being looked for to understand how the illness is progressing.

first, there are lesions, which show up on the mri as bright white spots or streaks in the brain. this shows where the myelin coating the nerves has been attacked by the immune system and shows either an acute, active attack where it is exceptionally bright and large, or shows where things have basicly scarred over, and the spots are smaller and less bright.

i took the mri home with me and compared with the mri from sept. 1999. there are not that many newer lesions, mostly a largening of existing lesions, and the neurologist stated that the damage was located where connections are made, which explains why alot of my episodes are bi-lateral (like both hands going numb). she also said it may have something to do with mixing my words up (i say things like upload instead of download, etc..

second, there is the concern of atrophy, or shrinkage, of the brain. ms has this problem in common with other brain illnesses such as schizophrenia, and is not a good sign

i have no atrophy...YEAH!!!!!!!!!

third, there is the problem with holes (my swiss cheese comment of the last post) which show up as black spots on the mri. i think this is the most important aspect to go over with a medical provider, because some parts of the brain, such as the ventricles, show up as black as well. these are areas where the myelin is not even attempting to repair itself anymore, i believe

my mri showed only two teeny-weeny little black dots that i would have entirely missed if the neurologist had not pointed them out, thats how small they were (but i imagine i would have panicked if i had gome home and looked for them on my own, because i easily could have thought a ventricle was damage)

all in all, a good report, but i dont think i had ever understood why my first neurologist had been so concerned by existing damage at the time of diagnosis. there are quite a few lesions, but atleast i can feel relaxed by the very minute changes over the past six years, as compared to the amount of damage that already existed in 1999.

1 comment:

Colette said...


I am glad to hear your MRI was not that bad...I am glad you have no atrophy....

Keep the Yoga thing in the back of your head sweetie - I can certainly find some time for lessons if you like and I have data about how it helps people with MS....we just have to get you to a point where you can sit still *smile*

Talk to you soon - I hope!

C -

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