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Thread: Question for Dr. Young concerning MS and TM

  1. #1

    Question for Dr. Young concerning MS and TM

    Dr. Young,

    I am in contact with a woman that says that she has had MS for 18 years. She says that it has never really given her too many problems but 5 months ago she developed some really bad tingling and paralysis and pain and ended up being diagnosed with TM.
    I have heard of such things happening before but she is now being doubted by others on our discussion board...

    What is the probability of developing TM after having MS...?

    Thank You,
    Kevin

  2. #2
    Senior Member lynnifer's Avatar
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    I have TM and I would say 'nil'.

    She may have had TM and then had another attack which is indicative of MS though I've never heard of that period of time between attacks? Remember that TM was/is difficult to diagnose ... her doctor simply may have had it wrong and she misunderstood the explanation?
    Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

    T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by TMKevin View Post
    Dr. Young,

    I am in contact with a woman that says that she has had MS for 18 years. She says that it has never really given her too many problems but 5 months ago she developed some really bad tingling and paralysis and pain and ended up being diagnosed with TM.
    I have heard of such things happening before but she is now being doubted by others on our discussion board...

    What is the probability of developing TM after having MS...?

    Thank You,
    Kevin
    Kevin,

    Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease, i.e. a disease in which the body's own immune system attacks the myelin. There are several types of multiple sclerosis. The first and most common is the intermittent-relapsing type where one has acute episodes of demyelination, recovery, and long periods (months to years) between episodes. The second is chronic progressive multiple sclerosis where things go downhill steadily.

    Transverse myelitis (TM) likely to be of inflammatory origin, with possible autoimmune components. It frequently occurs in association with a febrile episode of some kind, i.e. a cold, a vaccine, etc. In some people, it occurs once and then never recurs. In others, it happens over and over again. It is hard to distinguish TM from stroke (loss of blood flow) to the spinal cord. People with systemic lupus erythrematosus have a high incidence of TM.

    Because TM is relatively rare, one does not often see a person who have MS develop TM. However, it can happen. Furthermore, because both conditions may have some inflammatory or immune mechanism, one might think that this is something that would be more commonly paired. There are several people here on this site who have carried the diagnosis of MS, TM, or both.

    Wise.

  4. #4
    Dr. Young,

    Thank you, that is exactly the type of answer I was looking for.

    I truly appreciate your input....

    Have a wonderful day,
    Kevin

  5. #5
    I had TM after MS. The TM is what prompted my MS testing (spinal tap) and diagnoses. My neurologist suggested MS testing after my first attack, but mitigating circumstances (i.e., very high fever) led me to decline.
    Chas
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    I am a person with mild/moderate hexaparesis (impaired movement in 4 limbs, head, & torso) caused by RRMS w/TM C7&T7 incomplete.

    "I know you think you understand what you thought I said, but what I don't think you realize is that what you heard is not what I meant."
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  6. #6
    I was first told by my neurologist that I possibly had TM. If I had new symptoms at a later date then we would be looking at RRMS (relapsing remitting MS) possibly. I've never heard of it happening the other way around...MS then TM. Another bout of new symptoms the following Spring and a 2nd opinion from Mayo told me MS.
    "What has happened, has happened; What I am going through, I shall rise above; And what will come, I will meet with courage"~Hazrat Inayat Kahn

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Snuz View Post
    I was first told by my neurologist that I possibly had TM. If I had new symptoms at a later date then we would be looking at RRMS (relapsing remitting MS) possibly. I've never heard of it happening the other way around...MS then TM.
    I hadn't heard of that, either, Snuz. TM was my first symptom of MS, and later on it became clear that I had a progressive form of the latter. I don't know how TM could be distinguished from MS, if the MS diagnosis was already in place.

  8. #8
    Bonnette, TM and MS are not the same. The problem is that MS symptoms can be so similar that it is mistaken as TM. Each one has different (theoretically) causes.

    I'm one of the rare few to develop both. I've had MS symptoms since I was 17. They started after receiving a bunch of vaccinations before travelling to Ecuador, including Hep B, which is a highly suspected trigger. I can even track down the so-called traumatic event which set the symptoms in motion.

    I came down with TM in March of 09. It's onset was fast and it left me permanently paralyzed. A second attack affected an already-existing lesion on C6. While they are only 80% certain that that second attack was TM, they have no doubt about the first one being Transverse Myelitis. It was textbook.

    My MS is still relapsing with those symptoms coming and going as they always have. The paralysis however, has remained with minimal improvement. Had it been MlS, improvement would have been consistent with my other relapsing-remitting patterns.

  9. #9
    No, of course they are not the same. The neurologist initially told me that I had TM, but when symptoms started piling on she said that TM is often the first symptom of MS. That was several years ago, and now I am not sure that neurologists know what they're talking about, or that they can even define their terms in ways that are helpful to patients. TM, MS, and similar demyelinating conditions are far from clear-cut in their distinctions, and even MS classifications like relapsing-remitting, primary progressive and secondary progressive are under review.

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