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My MRI lesions don't match my symptoms. What does this mean?

My neurologist always says (after my list of symptoms) well your MRI I just doesn't match your symptoms. I thought it is normal to have symptoms that don't always correlate with lesion placements. When she says that I shutdown. Any suggestions on what to say?

  1. Hi freedom! I am sorry your neurologist doesn't seem very receptive to having an open dialogue with you. That must be very frustrating! One thing you probably already know about MS is that it can be a very unique condition. While there are obvious similar symptoms, individuals may experience a wide range of symptoms and lesion activity. I am not sure what to suggest as far as responding to your neurologist. Perhaps other community members will have some input. If you feel like your neurologist is not a good fit for you, you always have the right to seek out a new one. I do hope you can find a way to help your neurologist communicate more openly with you! Best, Erin, Team Member.

    1. WHAT??? Hi, I am a retired RN, have had MS , SPMS, for 43 years and read thru medical articles as a hobby! It has been well documented that the lesions that are seen on an MRI , do not usually ever match up to specific symptoms. Next time you go to see him ( unless u go searching for a new one, female if possible but most of all experienced with MS management) say this, “ I appreciate your thoughts, but I don’t understand the relevance. Are you saying that you think I need a second opinion, that maybe I don’t have MS.?” Also, “have you been taught or have you seen documentation that brain/cord lesion should correlate to symptoms? “ He is confusing you (maybe) making you probably feel like hmmmm maybe not good about yourself or questioning the whole MS diagnosis yourself . Also, offer the fact that just like the 3D MRIs and mammagrams show more, maybe in 5 years a better machine will see even more. But nevertheless, he is ill informed ! Challenge your doctor’s with questions and Google the questions you have . Do MS lesions reflect exactly what the patient’s symptoms are? Momentum Magazine ( online ) at NMSS has good articles you might like in addition. I encourage patients to do their own research online, too. Some Neurologists count lesions, mine says it is stupid! ha

      1. Agree with above! I thought when I read the question, what kind of neurologist would say that?! As far I was aware and told by mine, they don't actually know what each particular lesion would affect. It could be affecting currently, it could not. I would definitely question their knowledge and take further the fact they were giving you wrong infortmation!!!

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