I am asking for a friend...

1. Is it possible to have MS without brain plaques showing up on an MRI or even being present?

2. Can the plaques heal and not be seen on MRI?

3. I know that plaques usually show up in the white matter of the brain, but is there a possibility that they can be in the other tissue of the brain and show up as a scar?

4. What if a person has only one spot on the brain, and it is in the wrong place? Can they get a diagnosis of MS?

5. I know that the spinal cord has never been looked at on MRI, so there is the possibility of them being present on there.

6. Is a spinal tap indicated for this person who has every physical manifestation and documented symptom of MS including many of the rarer ones like Adie's pupils
and trigeminal neuralgia.

7. Would a spinal tap even be worth the risk to find out if this person has MS?

This person has been struggling to get by without a firm diagnosis for many years. She is losing more and more function and is having more and more "heaviness" in the limbs, and is having extreme balance problems.

Can anyone help us to find out what kind of doc would give the most bang for the buck so to speak? She has limited resources.

Any replies will be sincerely appreciated, especially from the medical staff.

Amy