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Should I bother with a brain MRI?

About a year and a half ago, I began experiencing numbness and tingling down the length of my left arm. At first, it would just randomly "fall asleep" with no reasonable explanation, then after a few weeks of that the tingling and reduced sensation were constant. It eventually seemed to settle into my hand and forearm, then the tingling all but stopped. I am left with reduced sensation and reduced dexterity in the hand.

Meanwhile, a few months after the initial arm symptoms began, I started to feel intense pins and needles in my feet and lower legs. This has worsened over time and I have periods where my feet are like blocks and it's difficult to walk. My right leg goes numb and tingly at times all the way from hip to toes. I often have a stabbing feeling in the thigh and the leg seems to wear out very quickly.

Other weird, maybe relevant things:

Migraines - never had them before this started. Was having several/week at some point but they've tapered off
Numb/tingly patch on back for 4+ years
Attacks of rib pain (feels like being pinched, I guess?) either side or both sides, lasts an hour or so
Weird sensations - feel like a candle's been lit under a body part, feel sunburnt when I'm not, buzzing, TENS-like feelings, part of scalp feels like hair's been pulled, stabbing pains in cheek and temple

I am overweight and have gained about 50lbs since this started. Need to lose nearly 100 lbs for normal BMI

Bloodwork checks out. Normal A1C, negative ANA, rheumatoid factor, lyme test, normal sedimentation rate, normal thyroid

Normal neuro exam. Symptoms seem to all be sensory.

Nothing remarkable on spinal MRI (cervical and thoracic).  Thoracic epidural lipomatosis is noted, but the neuro did not seem to take note or be concerned.

I had an appointment with the neuro today and pretty much asked for a brain MRI. I want to rule out MS once and for all. Dr. agreed and wrote the order, but I'm not sure if I should bother. I have been to two neurologists, and they both agree that MS in unlikely. I am comfortable that everything else I was worried about has been ruled out, but MS still haunts me. I just want to be sure it's nothing serious or that needs to be treated to keep damage from getting worse. I just don't want to waste my family's time and money. What should I do?


1 Responses
Avatar universal
I'm in the same boat. Lot's of MS symptoms but no diagnosis. No one can tell you what to do here, but I would personally have the MRI. It's better to know for sure in order to rule out other issues. If you do have MS, it's best to know, and if you don't, it gets you closer to an accurate diagnosis.
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