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Multiple Sclerosis - Page 2

Three years later, at 34, Janet awoke to a prickly tingling feeling from her waist down to her feet. The sensation of "pins and needles" was so intense, she could hardly walk. She made another appointment with a neurologist who ordered three tests to confirm his suspicion of multiple sclerosis. These tests consisted of a lumbar puncture, evoked potential testing, and a scan of her brain and spinal column by a new exciting imaging technique, magnetic resonance imaging.

  • 14. How does an MRI scan differ from a CT scan?
  • 15. What are the advantages of an MRI scan over a CT scan?

The first test, a lumbar puncture, checked for elevated protein levels in the cerebral spinal fluid (CSF). Results showed an increased level of abnormal protein.

  • 16. What is a lumbar puncture?

Evoked potential testing showed a definite slowing of nerve impulses.

Instructor's Note:

Because nerve signals cannot easily pass through demyelinated nerves, nerve impulses are slower than normal. This slowing of the nerve impulses is what is detected through the evoked potential test.

MRI Results

  • 17. What causes the characteristic plaques seen in MS?
  • 18. Why are the plaques not always seen in a patient with MS?

Watch Breea's Story to see MRI scans of a brain lesion caused by Multiple Sclerosis.

View Multiple Sclerosis MRI video