MRI Still the Same

by Anonymous
(US)

Question:

Hi,
I was diagnosed 10 years ago with PPMS. 3 months ago I had another MRI and it hasn't changed. Do I have PPMS or is it a different one?

Reply:
Hi Anon,
Thanks for your question. What really determines the type of MS you have is the pattern of your relapses and resulting level of disability that comes from those relapses. If you have continued to have relapses which have left you with an increased level of disability, then you may still have PPMS.

If, however, you have not experienced a progressively higher level of disability over the 10 years you've had MS, then you may have a different type of MS. I wouldn't be able to tell you that without more information. And you should be able to ask your doctor - whoever ordered your MRI.

The fact that your MRI hasn't changed - it's still there - and potentially still causing problems for you, shows that you have MS, as you already know. The damage may be concentrated in one specific area. Ask yourself these questions.

~ Do I feel worse (more fatigued, more memory problems, etc.) than I did 10 years ago?

~ Do I have more disability (more mobility problems, or problems caring for myself) than I had 10 years ago?

~ Am I still able to do the same things (work, play, sports, etc.) now that I did 10 years ago?

If you can no longer do the things you used to do, or feel worse than you did, then you may have PPMS. If you have bouts of disability, but bounce back to the same lever as you were before the relapse, then you may have Relapsing Remitting MS.

Who knows, you may be one of the lucky ones who has what is called Benign MS, where you have a very mild form of MS with hardly any progression or disability. Most doctors refrain from telling their patients what type of MS they have until they've lived with it for a few years. They can sometimes tell by the patterns that occur in their patients lives over the years while they're treating them.

Most people begin with RRMS, then progress to SPMS or Secondary Progressive MS. Some people even have one episode and then nothing else. Dr's don't even call this MS. So the answer to your question depends alot on the answers you give in the questions above. And I would still encourage you to talk to your doctor if you want to know for sure.

Take care and may the New Year bring you joy.

Akrista & Cir

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