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Spinal Plaque

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    Spinal Plaque

    Can anyone tell me what my mother's neursurgeon is refering to when he says that she has plaque on her spinal cord? She has a non-truamatic injury resulting from pressure to the lower cervical/upper thoracic areas during a 3 hour historectomy 11 years ago. (At least that's our theory) She just had a MRI & after looking at the results her new neurosurgeon went into a semi-panic & has ordered a barrage of test to be done immediately, claiming that she has MS. The MRI report says that she has a lesion with inflammation. My mother wonders why the hurry if she has lived with this for so long. Any information would be helpful!!


    In order to make a diagnosis of MS, multiple plaques (in the brain and/or cord) would need to be identified, and they would need to be consistent with clinical signs and symptoms. A plaque is a area of scarring which occurs in MS along with loss of myelin in the area. By the time a MS plaque can be seen on an MRI, the damage has been in progress for some time.

    Surgery or sudden trauma/stress can sometimes precipitate a MS flair or exacerbation, which may be what occured when your mother had surgery (if she really has MS). The neurosurgeon is probably wanting to do some further tests such as brain MRI, visual evoked potentials and lumbar puncture (?) to see if there are more plaques. If MS is confirmed, then it may be to her advantage to start one of the ABC drugs (Avonex, Betaseron, or Copaxone) as these drugs can reduce the speed of progression of the disease in many people.