Quicker Diagnosis For MS Video

In this medical video learn how Multiple sclerosis affects the two most inaccessible parts of the body -- the brain and spinal cord. MRI technology is now helping doctors get a closer look at these body parts to help make a quicker diagnosis.
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Jennifer Mathews: 40 year-old Dara Jones has MS. It's not the diagnosis she wanted, but she says it beats not knowing. For seven years, doctors misdiagnosed her numbness, fatigue, and vision loss. Dara Jones: Always being given things to calm you down. 'Here's a Valium. Here's Xanax. You're just stressed out all the time. Jennifer Mathews: When she agreed to an MRI, the 7-year mystery was solved. Dara Jones: And right then, boom, they knew. By accident, they knew. Jennifer Mathews: The MRI gives Doctor Norman Kachuck a view inside Dara's brain. He can see white lesions, damaged areas caused by MS. Those lesions combined with a patient's symptoms can help doctors diagnose MS as soon as a patient has their first attack. Until now, it took numerous clinical tests and two flare-ups of symptoms, at least one month apart to diagnose MS. MRI's now significantly reduce the time it takes to get that diagnosis. Norman Kachuck: If we can intervene in this disease at its earliest state, medicines we have presently will work far more efficiently. Jennifer Mathews: MRI's may also give patients a clue to where their disease is headed. Studies show the more lesions found initially, the faster the disease may progress. With exercise, the right diet, and medication, Dara feels better than she has in ten years. Dara Jones: If I hadn't gone in there that day who knows when I would have been diagnosed, and I could have started treating what I have. Jennifer Mathews: This is Jennifer Mathews reporting.

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