MS and the Spinal Cord

spineI recently read an article on everydayhealth.com called “When MS Attacks  the Spinal Cord.” I was told when I was first diagnosed, four years ago, that I had four lesions in the cervical area of my spinal cord. So I was very interested in reading this article.

Some of the highlights include:

  • researchers have “knowledge gaps about the role spinal cord lesions affect people with MS.”  I love the way they term it as knowledge gaps–not really.
  • spinal cord lesions in MS are probably from the same mechanism as those in the brain.  Probably??  This disease is surely baffling to those of us who deal with it every day–and research is still saying probably??  Oh my.
  • toxic chemicals produced by white blood cells strip the myelin insulation off of the connections between nerves.  I have not heard about toxic chemicals before.
  • spinal cord lesions are more common in the progressive forms of MS, and are more common in men.  That struck me as interesting.  Even though I was first diagnosed as having the relapsing remitting form of MS, and doctors prescribed a disease modifying treatment (drug), I think that I had already progressed to the secondary progressive stage.   I have not had a new symptom for about 5 years, and now, all the symptoms I have will either gradually or quickly get worse (again, probably). So far, it seems that things are progressing slowly.  Praise God!
  • the areas of the spinal cord that are generally effected are in the top section near the second and third cervical vertebrae. (Which is where mine are.)

Generally the article doesn’t give any kind of absolute facts, but it is still interesting. As with MS research, they still know very little about what causes multiple sclerosis and therefore there is no cure.  This is very frustrating and bothersome!

Going back to the discussion I started a while back, I’m still waiting on the approval of the MRI on my lower back. They have initially rejected the MRI and now my doctor is doing something called Peer to Peer Review. It’s very interesting that my doctor told me that insurance companies are now requiring an MRI before doing an epidural. But even though they require it, they have rejected it. No wonder our healthcare system is a mess. If anyone understands this, please let me know!

So what is the connection?  When I get the MRI for my back, which I am hoping will be approved, it will be interesting to see if there any lesions in that part of my spine.

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16 thoughts on “MS and the Spinal Cord

  1. I had lesions in my spinal cord come and go through my entire history of MS. It could very well have been there and be gone again. I’m surprised you are having difficulty getting approval for the MRI. Insurance companies need to be overhauled in our country. It’s horrible

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amen to that! Yes during my last MRI of my brain, I had less lesions. So what I don’t understand is that if the lesions come and go why does that mean there’s no cure for MS? I’ve always wondered that. Nobody’s given me a good answer, do you have one?

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      1. Some come and go because you get better in certain places. Like my L’hermites symptom. I use to have it all the time. Then it disappeared. If I did an MRI I probably showed a lesion in a place that was there and then disappeared.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Right..!!

        And sometimes our worries wasn’t worth it all the anxiety and stress..
        because it sometimes works itself out…
        Just continue to do those MRI .. and spinal X-rays..
        and deal with each result as is .. without thinking the worst…

        So sorry 😐 you are facing this condition though..it can’t be easy with all the limitations you are now having…
        I know..
        stay strong

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Blessings, strength, wisdom and grace for your continued journey. Though different from ours and others in adversity, our source of abundant life is the same. “Wait on the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. HI Jo Ann, I spent 4 years in medical billing, my heart goes out to you. The protocols indeed have changed (or if you like, fine tuned) regarding the use of MRI’s as a tool for epidurals. My experience is not with MS related injections, however with respect to the “Peer to Peer” review, that is an appeal protocol treating DR’s utilize to argue their validation for the procedure in question. Think of it as a Dr to Dr evidence based usage that, in all probably, has been paid by the insurance provider you subscribe to. Here’s a website that may help with respect to the brain & spine MRI… http://www.medpagetoday.com/resource-center/MS-Resource-Center/MRI-MS/a/58625 You are in my prayers & I hope I’ve been a little helpful…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have a couple lesions in the brain, but most of them are low and in the spinal cord too. I have no idea what they consider stages, I just know that my symptoms get better and worse, new and old. My doc said relapse and remit too but as you have found as well, the spinal is the worse. At one point my doc was concerned about NeuroMyalitis Optica, which is very bad. It has not been ruled out even though I don’t have the specific protein. But I wonder now with the change in my vision, as that line causes blindness. Why is everything so contradictory?

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