Spinal MS involves locating lesions on the spine and monitoring how these lesions affect the individual. Spinal Multiple Sclerosis can be included in different forms of MS. Each has similar symptoms, but not all types of MS include periods of remission. An MRI is used to locate both old and new lesions in an MS patient. Old lesions can be seen as a collection of scars on nerve cells and newer lesions appear as brighter spots on the scan. In some cases, the doctor might suggest an injection of gadolinium to be administered before the MRI. This colorless dye causes inflamed nerve cells to show up brightly on the scan; thus enabling a doctor to be certain about active inflammation.

The MRI takes a while to set up and complete. There are certain health issues that need to be taken into consideration before an MRI can take place. Once these are addressed and the MRI is taken, when possible, the results are discussed with the patient. Doctors can use an MRI to diagnose many problems with the spine, but lesions are the main concern for people with MS.

MS lesions on the spinal cord generally affect the lower extremities more so than the upper ones. Reducing inflammation is generally the first course of action that needs to be taken. Corticosteroids are used to cause the inflammation to go down and this can sometimes reduce symptoms. In relapsing forms of MS, once the inflammation goes down the symptoms might also reduce to the point of barely being noticeable. In more progressive forms of MS, the extent of the damage caused by spinal lesions might only be seen over time, due to the gradual climb in the level of disability seen.


Spinal MS Symptoms


MS is an autoimmune disease that can strike anyone and at any age, however, it tends to afflict mostly women between the ages of 20 and 40. The symptoms arise because of the demyelination occurring on nerve cells on the spine and brain. These symptoms include; a shuffling gait, dragging feet when walking, paralysis of the legs, numbness, tingling, pain, fatigue, and the inability to walk in a straight line.

Additional symptoms include localized tingling and numbness, loss of control of the bladder or bowels, reduced or no sensation in the genitals, and constipation. Spinal MS could easily include other symptoms that don’t manifest in everyone. Since each person reacts to spinal Multiple Sclerosis lesions differently, it’s difficult to know what to expect.


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