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Can MS be diagnosed through blood work?

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Unread 04-30-2009, 07:04 AM   #1
kristen8283
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Default Can MS be diagnosed through blood work?

I have been having MS like symptoms that are progressing over this past year (pins and needles in my left hand, then right hand, right leg, left leg that come and go, cognitive fogginess, huge memory problems). My MRI showed no lesions thankfully and he did blood work, I thought to check for Lupus as well since I have joint pain that comes and goes as well but I'm wondering if MS detection can be shown through blood work by having elevated white blood cells?

Would you have to have an elevated white blood cell count in order to have MS with or without lesions showing up on an MRI?
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Unread 04-30-2009, 07:13 AM   #2
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Hello, kristen8283 and welcome to NeuroTalk.

No.

Blood work will not diagnose MS, there is no blood test for MS. Blood work is used to check for things that can have similar symptoms as MS.
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Unread 04-30-2009, 07:22 AM   #3
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I asked my MD this after my hypochondriac sister swears she was dx with MS after one blood test. this is what I was told.

there are markers in your blood that can measure things like inflammation, and vit D levels which are commonly off in MS patients. Blood work can rule out things that mimic MS like Lupus, Lyme, B12 def and so on, but blood work alone CANNOT rule out, or rule in MS.

MS is a disease that is measured in time and space. 2 attacks that are separate from each other. Means you have to get better, and recover, before you have another attack or flair. MRI is the gold standard as they look for lesions in and around certain areas of the brain. Typically 7 to 10 lesions are required, but with clear sx and additional inflammation markers in the blood tests, they can and do dx based on sx and a lower count. Spinal taps are common to look for Obands.

So, the answer to your question is yes, in that blood work is PART of the puzzle that answers some questions, but NO in that blood work alone cannot and should not be used as the sole critera for a diagnosis.

Clear as mud?
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Unread 04-30-2009, 08:36 AM   #4
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On another forum that I go to, there was a post by that forum's host that claimed there is a blood test. (post had just been posted yesterday)

But, she said that the blood test is only used in Europe. Apparently American researchers were not able to duplicate the results of the blood test in their own research, which is why American doctors dont use it as a way to diagnose MS.

So, if you live in the United States, no...there isnt a blood test. If you're in Europe, there might be one. Personally, I would rather have more evidence, like MRI's.
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Unread 04-30-2009, 09:27 AM   #5
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As I went through the diagnosis process, they did a blood draw of about ten tubes of blood.

I asked why and I was told that they take so much blood so they can rule out the mimics.

Tests were run for:

Vit b12 level
Vit E level
Erythrocyte sed rate
C Reactive protein
Antinuclear antibody
Rheumatoid factor
Thyroid stimulating hormone
cortisol
glucose
anti-borrelia burgdorferi antibodies (Lyme)
RPR(syphilis)
anti-HTLV-1 antibodies (tropical spastic paraparesis-HTLV1 associated myelopathy)
anti-HIV1 antibodies(AIDS)
very long chain fatty acids(adrenoleukodystrophy,adrenomyeloneuropathy)
Gene studies to rule out Leber's disease, mitochondrial cytopathies.
Sjogrens, Sarcoidosis,granulocytoma, Lupus, fibromyalgia
along with all the usual stuff they look for in blood (liver panel, urinary stuff, etc)

It took a long time to get all the test results back, it cost the insurance company a whole lot of money, and none of them showed anything abnormal.
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Unread 04-30-2009, 10:04 AM   #6
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Deihibo is correct in RR I think, but PPMD is different. MD is always, no replapses.

I was DXed with anedotal (my stories) of what's been happening the last 12 years) visual and auditory provoked potentials, LP and MRI, andeverything confirmed mine and my doctor's belief though he said RR to give me a chance to try a CRAB (insurance companies won't pay PPs) but next 3 neuros say PP. PP is only in about 10 or 15% of MS population. PPs tend to have lighter lesion loads, more physical symptoms. I'm almost classic.
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Unread 04-30-2009, 10:19 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Riverwild View Post

Tests were run for:

Vit b12 level
Vit E level
Erythrocyte sed rate
C Reactive protein
Antinuclear antibody
Rheumatoid factor
Thyroid stimulating hormone
cortisol
glucose
anti-borrelia burgdorferi antibodies (Lyme)
RPR(syphilis)
anti-HTLV-1 antibodies (tropical spastic paraparesis-HTLV1 associated myelopathy)
anti-HIV1 antibodies(AIDS)
very long chain fatty acids(adrenoleukodystrophy,adrenomyeloneuropathy)
Gene studies to rule out Leber's disease, mitochondrial cytopathies.
Sjogrens, Sarcoidosis,granulocytoma, Lupus, fibromyalgia
along with all the usual stuff they look for in blood (liver panel, urinary stuff, etc)
I had several of the same things but not all. My specialist didn't even order a B-12 test, something that I later asked my PCP to do. One thing I remember I had that isn't on your list is TB.

No surprise coming from me but I think that everyone who suspects MS should have a comprehensive D panel as part of initial testing. Besides the frequency of deficiency associated with MS, it can cause neurological sx.
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Unread 04-30-2009, 10:20 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kicker View Post
I'm almost classic.
Kicker, you ARE classic!
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Unread 04-30-2009, 11:15 AM   #9
kristen8283
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Hmmm...my D levels are low but still just barely within normal range.

I'll ask my next related question on another thread, but I'm wondering if it's possible to have MS without showing any obvious lesions on the MRI.
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Unread 04-30-2009, 11:19 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bearygood View Post
I had several of the same things but not all. My specialist didn't even order a B-12 test, something that I later asked my PCP to do. One thing I remember I had that isn't on your list is TB.

No surprise coming from me but I think that everyone who suspects MS should have a comprehensive D panel as part of initial testing. Besides the frequency of deficiency associated with MS, it can cause neurological sx.
No TB test because I have a titer regularly to meet state licensing requirements for one of my licenses, so that was taken care of.

I didn't have a Vit D screen either, and wish every neuro would order one when they order a workup. There's just too much evidence that it's neuroprotective and so many people's levels are too low.

The whole bloodwork thing just stunned me when I found out all the things they were testing for, but a D workup wouldn't have added that much more to the already exorbitant charge! Thankfully I have good insurance!
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I know the sound the river makes, by dawn, by night, by day. But can it stay me through tomorrows that find me far away?


.
I have this mental picture in my mind of you all, shaking bones and bells and charms, muttering prayers and voodoo curses, dancing around in a circle of salt, with leetle glasses and tiny bottles of cheer in the middle...myyyyyy friends!

diagnosed 09/03/2004
scheduled to start Tysabri 03/05
Tysabri withdrawn from market 02/28/05
Copaxone 05/05-12/06
Tysabri returned to market 06/05/06
Found a new neuro 04/07
Tysabri 05/25/07-present
Medical Marijuana legally 12/03/09
.

Negative for JC virus antibodies!
.

I'm doing alright and making good grades,
The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades!
.
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