What does an MS lesion look like to the naked eye?


You asked what does an MS lesion look like not by MRI or undr a micoscope to paraphrase “I have ….10mm lesions”

Sorry I don’t want to put you off your lunch but this is a picture of human brain with MS. The whitety pink bit on the inside is the white matter consisting of nerves and on the outside of the brain is the grey matter. There is a ruler and I think you can see three large lesions marked with an arrow, but there are others in this brain . The lesions are the reddy-brown blobs that are called plaques. Also in the white matter you can see the blood vessels there may be a tiny lesion there but you need a microscope. A cell is about 100nm in diameter, so 10cells =1000 micrometer 10,000 = 1 millimeter and 100,000 cells across is a cm

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  • Remembering that someone has given permission for this brain to be removed from the body and sectioned, it would be good to give a plug for MS Society Tissue Bank.

    You can donate your brain and spinal nerves to further support MS Research (after you die). They accept donations from non MS sufferers as well to give a comparison. You carry a “donor card”.

    It may be interesting to offer Professor Richard Nicholas the lead researcher a guest post.

    One element is comparing the damage load with the level of disability as this is more variable than might be expected. I believe they found one brain in the control sample that was indicative of marked MS but with no symptoms.

    Another opportunity to assist in MS research is the MS Register where people with MS fill in questionnaires regularly to give information that demonstrates progression over time.

    In addition to having an interest in MS research for yourself, it is good to know you can contribute for the benefit of others.

  • This is a useful pic. I think we need to start rebranding “lesioms” to “brain damage”. Perhaps that will give MS more urgency to prevent more with the medical community, and more respect and understanding among the general pop.

  • Thank you for this post mortem brain photo. It’s very interesting.
    Any chance of providing a photo of an actual spinal cord with a lesion load? I’d be curious to see how/if the lesions present similarly/differently.
    Thanks so much,

    • I dont have a fresh spinal cord picture, I asked DrLove to see if she has any. it is a lot more difficult than removing the brain, I believe the spine is is cut from the inside. The lesions can seem much bigger as the spinal cord has a small diameter

    • Thanks we covered this paper in about 2018 and perhaps is the problem of looking at the body and working out what has happened without determining that the crime scence could have been somewhere else. If I chop you leg off and you bleed out the brain dies but the surrounding tissue looks normal because your heart stopping was the problem:-)

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