MRI report: no news is good news

Last November I had a followup brain MRI, to see whether anything bad had been silently happening up there during the year that passed since the previous MRI. (See here for my earlier experiences.) Nothing seems to be. My neurologist and I looked through the MRI images carefully; there were three places that, in his opinion, were lesions. Each of them was present on both this year's MRI and the last year's. It's impossible to do precise comparisons, since the slices that the MRI took through the brain were oriented slightly differently; but there wasn't any evident change in any of the lesions, and none of them were gadolinium-enhancing (on either MRI).

The MRI outfit finally dragged themselves into the twentieth century, and gave me a digital copy of the data. Here's a comparison picture of two of the lesions, courtesy of AMIDE. The picture is in the FLAIR modality, which, of the commonly-used MRI modalities, is the best for looking for MS lesions. The left image is from 2005, and the right image from 2006. You should be able to click on the image to get a 2x larger image, to which I've added a little red X under each lesion:

MRI FLAIR images

I abstained from Flagyl for five weeks prior to the MRI exam, so that anything that did enhance with gadolinium would have meant disease activity rather than inflammation produced by bacterial die-off due to Flagyl.

Again, these two images aren't directly comparable; for instance, the third lesion is also visible in the 2005 image, but not in this particular 2006 image; but that isn't because it disappeared, but rather because in the 2006 series it's in the next slice, not in this slice.

Thanks Norman for showing us these.   Stability is good, it is the platform for improvement.   I've never seen these kinds of images of lesions before so an education for me.

Michele: on Wheldon protocol since 1st May 2006 for a variety of long standing ailments including IBS, sinusitis, alopecia, asthma, peripheral neuropathy, also spokesperson for Ella started Wheldon CAP 16th March 2006 for RRMS

Michèle (UK) GFA: Wheldon CAP 1st May 2006. Daily Doxy, Azi MWF, metro pulse.

 Norman- Thanks for the pictures. Very clear, and very attractive supra-orbitals I might add-- and I don't just say that to any cranium on the block.

Seriously, though, this is great news to have. You are such a good observor of your treatment process, but it's good to see the results in black and white too. Amazing how the technology has gotten much clearer images. Even I can locate these lesions, where most scans from prior technology were a mystery to me.

How do you compare your actual functional status to this. Have you had functional improvements or does the MRI reflect the functional reality? 

CAP for Chlamydia pneumonia since 11/04. 25yrs CFS & FMS- Currently: 150mg INH, 300mg Rifampin, 200 Doxycycline, 500mg mwf Azithromycin, plus 500mg Tinidazole 2x/day pulses every two weeks. Whew! That's a lot!


CAP for Cpn 11/04. Dx: 25+yrs CFS & FMS. Currently: 250 aithromycin mwf, doxycycline 100mg BID, restarted Tini pulses; Vit D2000 units, T4 & T3, 6mg Iodoral

Whatever effect these brain lesions have had has been invisible to me, at least in gross terms. The one attack of numbness that I had, I attribute entirely to the lesion or two that is in my spinal cord; I think the lesions in the brain are too far away from the sensory neurons to produce the very narrow, specific numbness I had. No repeat MRI was done of the spinal cord, since any new lesion there would be readily apparent to me, as a decrease in functionality, and nothing of the sort has happened. (I do get a hint of the numbness again, with each pulse of Flagyl, but it is at the level of a curiosity, not a functional impairment.)

In general, I'm functioning better mentally, in a variety of ways that are hard to pin down exactly.

If it's pretty pictures you like, here's one:

Image removed. 

That's two images combined.  The benefit of my staying completely motionless for 45 minutes was that these two images aligned perfectly.  Both of them are T1 modality; the second one was taken after IV injection of gadolinium.  The first one is colored white, and the second one colored red; added together, they produce the above image.  You can see blood vessels, colored red, snaking through the brain.  This image has nothing to do with any pathology; I just think it's pretty neat.



Hi Norman,

These are amazingly clear images.   I didn't realize they could be this clear actually.   Thanks for sharing them.    And I'm glad to hear you are functioning better too...

On Combined Antibiotic Protocol for Cpn in Rosacea since 01/06

Treatment for Rosacea

  • CAP:  01/06-07/07
  • High-Dose Vit D3, NAC:  07/07-11/08
  • Intermtnt CAP, HDose Vit D3:  11/08-01/09
  • HDose Vit D3, Mg, Zn: 01/09-

Absolutely fascinating! And good news, to boot. Can't do much better than that!

The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems.  Mohandas Gandhi

The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems. Mohandas Gandhi

Norman, Good for you! Now, which lesion do you think might be related to that ultra-dark sense of humor?

Joyce~caregiver-advocate in Dallas for Steve J (SPMS) / Cpn indicated by reactions; Mpn, EBV, CMV positive; elevated heavy metals; gluten+casein sensitive / Wheldon CAP since Aug. '06 - doxycycline+azithromycin+flagyl pulses; antivirals; chelation; LDN.

Joyce~caregiver-advocate in Dallas for Steve J (SPMS).  CAP since August 06, Cpn, Mpn, B. burgdorferi, systemic candidiasis, EBV, CMV & other herpes family viral infections, elevated heavy metals, gluten+casein sensitivity. 

Damn, you do look like kind of a badass in that one... I think it's the boot camp hairstyle/brainstyle that does it. Or is it that stuff hanging out your nose? All things considered it's a formidable effect.

Man, I definitely want an MRI now. I kinda opted out on a chance to get one when I was in the hospital. I guess nothing would probably have come up, CFS being more of a SPECT thing. But they failed to duly advise me that it would look totally cool anyway.

They are sure making some cool moves these days with real-time MRI. I have a dilettante interest in cog sci / philosophy of mind. I can't possibly conceive of the mind being immaterial, or material either - especially with respect to free choice/will. All the reconsiliations I've read (in dilettante precis anyway) seem like a real load of BS.