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Has Multiple sclerosis. No symptoms. Some thing else with the same symptoms?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2001
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Hello, A friend of mine has just received word that his wife has MS. She has not had any symptoms at all until now. She is over 40 years old. Are there ANY other possibilities of something else with the same symptoms

Posted Sun, 23 Jun 2013 in Women's Health
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 42 minutes later
Hi, thanks for using healthcare magic

Multiple sclerosis is an immune related inflammatory disease that attacks the myelinated axons in the central nervous system.As a result the myelin is loss- this is called demyelination.
Myelin is a material that forms a sheath around the axons (the nerves), its main function is the help with the speed at which nervous impulses travel along.

There are other conditions that can cause demyelination. They are normally including in the differential diagnosis of multiple sclerosis.
Differential diagnosis is other conditions that can cause similar symptoms.

The differential diagnosis includes : (1) tumors of the spinal cord

(2) vasculitis- this is inflammation of the blood vessels, it can occur on its own or in conditions such as lupus.

(3)infarction of the spinal cord- this is blockage of blood vessels that supply the spinal cord

(4)sarcoidosis- this disease can involve the central nerves in 5% of persons.This is an inflammatory disease that can affect many systems of the body

(5)transverse myelitis- this is also inflammation of the spinal cord but the exact cause is unknown

(6)av fistula- this is a connection between the arteries and veins in this case to in the back that may affect blood supply to the nerves in the area

(7) acute disseminated encephalomyelitis- this is a after infection or after vaccination attack on the spinal cord, it would respond to steroid therapy

Your friend's doctor may have already considered these options in his or her assessment.

I hope this helps, wish your friend to best
Feel free to ask any other questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Has Multiple sclerosis. No symptoms. Some thing else with the same symptoms? 13 minutes later
You have mentioned everything but Lime Disease. Does this not also have the same symptoms as MS ?
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 18 minutes later

During the investigations the MRI would demonstrate demyelination of the axons.Even of there are conditions that can cause some of the same symptoms, they would not cause the destruction of myelin that the imaging tests would show.

The conditions that were mentioned can be associated with demyelination.

Lyme disease can affect the nervous system but the way in which it is done is different.

Please feel free to ask any other questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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