White Matter Lesions In Brain And Neck...ms Or Migraines?


Asked by Julie

White Matter Lesions In Brain And Neck...ms Or Migraines?

I am a 41 year old female who has a history of hormonal migraines. More recently, over the past 8 months, I have had a migraine a least two/three times a week not solely hormone related. Usually, they present behind my left eye and are stabbing with light and noise sensitivity and sometimes spots. They can be triggered by smells such as perfume. I have been diagnosed with Factor V Lieden and positive for MTHFR. Four years ago a week after giving birth to my third child, I had a pulmonary embolism and was on blood thinners for a year after that. I still take 81mg aspirin.
Four weeks ago, I noticed my two fingers on my left fingers were numb and at times slightly tingly. Sometimes, it goes down the back of my hand and I can feel it in the top of my thigh and foot rarely and all on the left. I was sent for a MRI C-spine on Monday and the neurologist saw a white spot on my spinal cord in my neck. I had a MRI C-spine and brain with contrast yesterday and two white matter lesions were seen in my brain as well as the one on my spinal cord in my neck. The neurologist said they all appear to be the same color and roughly the same size. I had a migraine before the procedure and took an Imitrex before I went in. The neurologist says he thinks I might have MS. He also wants me to have an EMG on my left arm on Wednesday.
Everything was closed today b/c of the snow and I am really scared about the possibility of MS…there is no history in my family on either side of my family.
I would appreciate any insight you might offer.

Thank you so much! Julie



I'm sorry you're going through this, plus the waiting. Waiting can be the worst!

Migraine can cause white matter lesions on the brain. You might want to take a look at Is Migraine a Progressive Brain Disease? for more info on this.

It's not uncommon for MS to be suspected in Migraineurs. Some of the symptoms can be so similar. When you get your test results, if you're not confident of whatever diagnosis you're given, don't hesitate to get a second opinion. OK?

I don't know a lot about MS, but you can find information on our sister site, MultipleSclerosisCentral.com.

Please keep me posted on what happens and how you're doing?

Answered by Teri Robert