Learn about MRI and MS

written by: Scott L. Gold, MD -  June 12, 2016 Shared from MS Views and News News letter 6/2016

http://www.msviews.org/msviewsandnews4/index.php/2012-05-28-00-15-54/2012-07-04-00-19-28/794-mri-and-ms

We've pulled some highlights from the article linked above that is definitely worth the full read!

MRI hardware and software have advanced significantly, helping physicians to more accurately detect diseases earlier in their course. In the case of multiple sclerosis, this has had a dramatic impact on the diagnosis and treatment of our patients. We now have a technique that more accurately confirms our clinical suspicion of MS even after the first attack, provides a way to better predict the course of the disease, allows us to start disease modifying therapies earlier in the course of the disease, and enables us to more quickly determine when that therapy is ineffective, even before a person develops symptoms or disability....

...up to 5-10 -may develop silently, for every one clinical attack a person may experience. This is primarily seen in the vast areas of the brain that are relatively silent, especially when the lesions are small. This discrepancy is less likely in more compact areas such as the optic nerve, brainstem, and spinal cord. 

There are some limitations, however. The disease course and disability in individual patients may not correlate with the severity of the findings by MRI. About 5% of persons with clinically definite MS may have normal MRI’s. About 4% of normal individuals may have lesions that mimic MS plaques. This is further compounded by the variability in interpretation by radiologists and neurologists when they view the abnormalities seen.

While the frequency of checking an MRI from physician-to-physician, we generally check an MRI every 3-6 months for more aggressive forms of the disease or every 1-2 years for less aggressive forms or if the disease has come under good control over several MRI’s with a particular disease modifying therapy.

Please click on the link above for the complete article written by Dr Scott L. Gold.