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Normal brain MRI but symptoms of MS? What are the next steps?

Hi everyone! I finally got into a neurologist last month because I've been having multiple symptoms of MS over the last 6 months. I also have multiple family members with MS so I know the signs of it which is why I'm concerned with my symptoms. I saw the neurologist who agreed that my symptoms point to MS. She did bloodwork to rule out other autoimmune diseases and she told me that she ruled everything else out so she then sent me for a brain MRI. The MRI came back as normal with no lesions present so the doctor just left it as that and said to check back in at a later time. My concern is my symptoms aren't going away and 3 days ago I developed face pain that has been coming and going. So I'm trying to figure out if its possible to have MS with a normal brain MRI and what my next steps would be. I know I could have lesions on my spine but she didn't order a spine MRI. Should I request a spine MRI or spinal tap or would that be pointless if I don't have lesions on my brain? Sorry for the long post I'm just really concerned. Thanks!

  1. Your peace of mind is important too. From what I hear, still learning myself, they will often question a MS diagnosis if there are no brain lesions. But I would be wondering to if there are any on the spine. Sorry, can't be of more help. Hope you find some answers that give you peace of mind soon!

    1. Hi @aroberts16. I wish you had more clarity. It is possible to have lesions that are still too small to appear on an MRI. Many people have gotten normal MRI results only to find multiple lesions years later. If you still believe you have MS, you might consider finding an MS specialist. The National MS Society has a tool that can help you find one in your area. Here is a link: https://www.nationalmssociety.org/Resources-Support/Find-Doctors-Resources. An MS specialist might be better equipped to decide whether a spinal MRI or lumbar puncture would be helpful at this point. I hope you get some answers and some relief soon. Best wishes! - Lori (Team Member)

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