The lesions caused by multiple sclerosis can occur anywhere within the central nervous system which includes the brain, the spinal cord, and the optic nerves. Approximately 55-75 percent of patients with MS will have spinal cord lesions at some time during the course of their disease. If a patient does have lesions in the spinal cord, he/she may be said to have Spinal MS. A smaller number of MS patients, approximately 20%, may have only spinal lesions and not brain lesions. (see emedicine.medscape.com) I am an example of one of those 20% of MS patients who only have spinal lesions.
Spinal MS occurs more commonly with lesions in the cervical spine (the neck area) in approximately 67% of cases. Lesions in this area often affect the corticospinal tract. Neurological signs which indicate lesions in the corticospinal tract include the Babinski Sign and the Hoffmann Sign. Additional indicators of lesions in the upper spine include the l’Hermittes phenomenon and the Romberg Sign. At one time or another, I have shown each of these signs of neurological involvement/interference due to MS lesions.
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What is Spinal MS?