How MS affects the brain: silent changes

In MS, researchers believe that the immune system attacks the protective coating of the nerves in your brain and spinal cord, causing areas of inflammation and damage and slowing down electrical signals.

Sometimes MS-related brain damage is silent and does not cause noticeable symptoms. But your neurologist can see the damage with a test called an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan.

Neurologists look for brain lesions on your MRI scan. These are areas of the brain that have been damaged by MS.

Even when you don't have noticeable symptoms, MS could still be silently damaging your brain. That's why it's so important to talk to your neurologist about MS brain effects and MRI markers of MS brain damage such as brain lesions. MRIs provide valuable information about disease control, and it is recommended that a follow-up MRI be done 6 to 12 months after starting a new treatment to see what effect it may be having on the condition.Use the MS Treatment Satisfaction Questionnaire to prepare for your visit.

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