On January 3rd 2011, I went in for my 8th MRI since my diagnosis in 2005. This was also my first MRI since going off drugs in May 2010. All of my previous MRI results leading up to this one have either shown progression (new lesions in my brain and spinal chord) or inflammation on the original lesions.
Lesions or “plaque” found in the brain and/or spinal chord in MS patients represent damage to the myelin sheath. This damage is what slows or delays message transmission causing a large variety of symptoms. My most severe symptoms to date have been numbness/burning/tingles/weakness in my left leg, loss of bladder control, fatigue and loss of vision in my left eye (most recent). The only symptoms I am experiencing and have been for the past year is some vision loss in my left eye and minor numbness/burning sensation in my left leg. The fascinating thing about this disease is that no two MS patients are ever the same.
I am very happy to announce to you today that after 9 months drug free and 6 yrs since my diagnosis, my MRI showed no inflammation in my current lesions and no newly formed lesions. This is my best result so far and I’m sure you can guess my answer when my neurologist asked if I wanted to go onto Rebif, an interferon injection with a risk of liver damage.
What an MRI looks like: