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How Many Of You Have Brain Lesions


Darlene
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I have them.

They initially said I had MS due to the lesions. Then the spinal tap said no.

They told me lots of people have them and just don't know they have them. They might not mean anything. Wish I didn't know.

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OK - I never new a brain lesion could be "normal" - I thought it always pointed to something like MS - perhaps a second opinion? - I mean, I've worked in healthcare for over 30 years and this is news to me.......any other symptoms? - muscle weakness, tremors, fatigue, wobbly legs, foot drop, occasional inability to walk normally - sudden buckling of the legs.......I would think your headaches are caused by the brain lesions - not the other way around................???

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I have 2 white focal lesions that show on MRIs and CTs for at least the last 6 years. All radiologists have attributed them to being consistent with migraine. They haven't changed so that makes me feel better but knowing I have any lesions in my brain with the symptoms I have doesn't make me feel all warm and fuzzy. But I can not find anyone that has any concern about them including the Hopkins neurosurgeon I saw last month and he seems pretty well respected.

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I had my MRI which revealed lesions almost 15 years ago. I have POTS. No MS or other neurological disorder.

What the neurologist told me was that they did a study on healthy college students and did MRI's on them. Then they followed them. The ones with lesions that went on to develop MS or another neurological disorder later in life was no greater for those that had lesions in college than those who didn't have them. My neurologist said it is thought that many people in the general population have them and will never know because they don't have an MRI and the lesions don't cause any issues. He also said that is why he felt it is bad for people to get MRI's just for screening purposes.

I have asked doctors since then if I should have a follow up MRI to see if the lesions are getting worse and have been told there is no reason to since it would serve no purpose. Some people have them.

I have read that people with Migraines get lesions, but I thought the headaches caused the lesions. I do get Migraines but not very often since I no longer have menstrual migraines.

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I do. I had a normal brain MRI in 2001 which was ordered because of a syncapal episode but then in 2007 I had a repeat MRI which showed minimal scattered T2 hyperintensities. The radiology report read nonspecific white matter changes, differential includes small vessel chronic ischemic changes, demyelinating disease, post inflammatory/infectious change versus others. Clinical correlation advised. The report kind of scared me but I have seen several neurologists since and had two repeat brain MRIs that were basically the same and no one seems concerned so Im not either. Demyelinating disease was ruled out by the way. So the reason for the MRI change was never really determined.

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i have wondered about lyme... because of the brain lesions, floaters, nerve damage and several other symptoms... my elisa was positive and westernblot was negative...but i hear lyme is difficult to diagnose... i did live on 6 acres of woods growing up, and traveling to states where lyme is prevalent.

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Like Relax I had a brain CT scan, a brain MRI and an MRI of my pituitary gland more recently (due to elevated prolactin) and they were all clear.

Darlene, any chance you can find a lyme literate dr in your area and ask for an opinion?! There are databases of such drs somewhere online ...

Alex

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Katybug. It is so interesing that you should ask as I had wondered about that myself. In 2011 I went to Mayo and was diagnosed with autonomic neuropathy and rediagnosed with POTS along with other things. Im sure a test for Lymes disease would have been included in all the lab workup. I have a long and complicated health history that goes a way back but it was after a trip in 2003 and being in a tick residing area that I got really ill and started completely falling apart. I have heard that Lymes disease is problematic to diagnose.

Janet

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  • 3 weeks later...

Here is the abstract of a relevant (I think) recent article

It looks like migraines, syncope and orthostatic intolerance increase the risk of white matter lesions particularly in women :unsure:

http://www.neurology.org/content/80/21/1958.short?sid=23c872ec-2bfc-4744-b2d4-f16e4a7d3889

Syncope and orthostatic intolerance increase risk of brain lesions in migraineurs and controls
  1. ABSTRACT

    Objectives: We and others showed that migraineurs are at increased risk of subclinical and clinical ischemic brain lesions. Migraineurs also have a higher prevalence of frequent syncope and orthostatic intolerance, symptoms that are associated with transient reductions in cerebral blood flow. In this study, we assessed whether these autonomic symptoms may contribute to the increased risk of brain lesions in migraine.

    Methods: Migraineurs (n = 291) and controls (n = 140) from the population-based, cross-sectional CAMERA (Cerebral Abnormalities in Migraine, an Epidemiologic Risk Analysis) cohort (aged 30–60 years, and free of other neurologic symptoms) underwent 1) brain MRI scan, and 2) structured telephone interview including questions on frequent syncope (≥5/lifetime) and orthostatic intolerance.

    Results: Frequent syncope (odds ratio [OR] = 2.7; 95% confidence interval: 1.3–5.5) and orthostatic intolerance (OR = 2.0 [1.1–3.6]) were independent risk factors for high load of deep white matter lesions. Effects were strongest in women and similar in migraineurs and controls. Migraine diagnosis did not mediate or moderate these associations. Individuals with orthostatic intolerance had higher prevalence of high periventricular white matter lesion load (OR = 1.9 [1.1–3.5]). Syncope and orthostatic intolerance were not related to subclinical infarcts or infratentorial lesions.

    Conclusions: Frequent syncope, orthostatic intolerance, and migraine independently increase the risk of white matter lesions, particularly in females.

    Alex

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Thanks, Alex. I guess this information doesn't surprise me but it doesn't make me feel any better when docs claim that POTS has no long term effects (for lack of a better way to put it.) I just don't believe that anything that causes brain lesions is good for you. If cigarettes caused these same lesions, there would be another black box warning on the side of the carton.

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Thank you so much Alex for sharing what would appear to be a very relevant article. I do not have migraines but past syncapal event and OI (POTS) are problems I do have. So I suppose that would explain the presence of lesions on my brain MRI. Not terribly reassuring though for one with a chronic OI condition. It makes me think of a comment made to me a few months back by my Opthomalogist. He said I wonder if a chronic cerebral hypo perfused state can cause permanent brain damage. I guess as Katybug expressed earlier, the information doesn't surprise me. Thank you for providing some answers.

Janet

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