Diagnosing MS With A Blood Test

blood test for multiple sclerosisI just returned from a trip to Nashville, Tennessee, sponsored by IQuity, Inc., the biotech company that has cracked the code on a simple blood test for diagnosing MS. Let that sink in for a minute. A simple blood test to determine whether or not you have Multiple Sclerosis. If you are currently diagnosed with MS – you most likely went through a fun little test called the Lumbar Puncture (a.k.a., Spinal Tap) which was nerve-racking, uncomfortable at the very least and still didn’t yield a diagnosis without the other components of blood tests, MRIs, evoked potential testing, EMR tests, and everything else that comes with a disease that is diagnosed through exclusion rather than definitive disease-specific testing. AND – you probably had to wait a long time – in some cases months and years – for a diagnosis. Well – those days may well be behind us.

The CEO of IQuity, Chase Spurlock, has his Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from Vanderbilt University and is a research instructor there as well. And he’s scary smart. And he’s really nice. And he’s young. Bet you were envisioning an older dude with gray hair and fuzzy eyebrows, right? Me too. Nope. He’s a young guy with a ton of energy and brain-power. Exactly what we need on our side!

He and his team of researchers found an RNA blood test, which looks at markers and algorithms and has a GREATER THAN 90 PERCENT accuracy rate in detecting likely MS!!!  WHAT?!?!   Remember that lumbar puncture?  That test is looking for the presence of oligoclonal banding in your spinal fluid and it isn’t that accurate. In fact, it’s estimated that 5-10% of people with MS never show signs in their spinal fluid. Give me a quick, easy blood test over an LP any day!  Oh – and btw – the blood test (a.k.a., Isolate MS) can provide test results – and answers – within one week – 7 days. WHAT?!?!?  That’s what I’m talking about!

 

The One-Day Information Download for MS Bloggers

IQuity gathered the best of the best of the MS blogging world – and me! I was incredibly honored to be included in this bunch of well-established and highly-regarded influencers. We were provided a wonderful educational opportunity that included presentations by MS docs, a neuro PT and IQuity themselves. We all were grateful for the opportunity to learn that they provided us. AND – bonus – we all got to meet each other share insights – and introduce our audiences to each other. Here’s a link to the Facebook Live that we did together. You get a chance to see the faces behind the blogs!! #MSBlogSquad.

Here are the cast of characters:

Caroline Craven (www.GirlWithMS.com),

Dave Bexfield (www.activemsers.blogspot.com)

Kim Standard (www.StuffCouldAlwaysBeWorse.blogspot.com),

Cat Stappas (www.ItsOnlyABruise.com),

Beth Prystowsky (www.ModernDayMS.com),

Stephanie Buxhoeveden (www.JustKeepSmyelin.com),

Matt Cavallo (www.MattCavallo.com),

Dan and Jennifer Digmann (www.DanandJenniferDigmann.com),

Laura Kolaczkowski (www.insidemystory.com)

and ME!! 😉

And Now The Downside

You knew there’d be one, right? Yeah well – not surprisingly – it’s a lack of insurance coverage. It’s a new test – and the insurance companies here in the states – need a bit more time and perhaps enthusiasm to put it on their coveted formularies. That’s where you come in. I know most of you already have a diagnosis, but let’s do this for the folks behind us that have yet to be diagnosed. And honestly – there is benefit for the previously diagnosed as well: they’re looking into being able to see how medication is working for us – quickly and easily – as opposed to our current plan of attack. That being wait and see.  Check the MRI in 6 months. Do more blood tests, etc. Let’s help by getting the word out – talking to our neuros in particular – but really anyone in our medial sphere of influence – and tell them about this test. There is a lack of knowledge about this test so – docs aren’t currently ordering it. The more docs know about it and start requesting it, the faster track it will be on for insurance coverage. So please – talk to your docs about it. Tell them to look it up. Send them to this article. Whatever. Just get it out there. What a true gift this could be to our community. Cutting the diagnosis timeframe and increasing the accuracy rate! WOW. Game changer. People can get started earlier on treatment and you know that’s a goal. It’s just another way to say “FUMS”!!

4 thoughts on “Diagnosing MS With A Blood Test”

  1. Hi I was originally diagnosed with ms for 10 years meds and an injection everyday! My dr left the hospital where I went I changed Drs the new dr says no ms mixed collagen vascular disease fibromyalgia etc… I have every ms symptom and more but he said my legions on my brain aren’t in the right spot for ms! When do you think this test will be covered by insurance and how money would it cost? Thanks kristina yeiter

    1. Hey Kristina —

      They’re working to get this test on formularies every day. There is no telling when it will be covered but the more people that ask their doctors about it, the more the doctors order it, the more need that is seen for this test, the better.

    2. Go to another doctor specializing in MS for another opinion is my advise. I didn’t know the lesions had to be in a specific place for being diagnosed with MS. I never heard of that.

  2. I am curious about this as well. I was diagnosed in 03 with MRIs , Lumbar Punctures and everything under the Sun. Went through all the different CRAB injections, then onto a year of Novantrone, followed by a year of monthly Solumedrol Infusions, which lead to Cushings Syndrome. I decided the quality of life vs Quantity. So I went off all of that and through a Pian Dr finally came up with a Pain Med Trifecta that I have been on for 15 years. My General Dr took over prescribing for the next 10 years. One of the things that prompted pushback from My Dr was He sent me for an MRI which he later stated showed no MS. Thats all he told me.. So then states He could no Longer prescribe for the pain Meds. I went to pain Mgmnt Dr, but just felt like something was off while there. I am so over all the Garbage of being treated like an addict, I have decided to wean myself off of these Meds. I am 2 weeks into this and not sure how much is residual Pain Vs actual Pain. My legs are the main Culprit to the point of just cant handle it anymore. So here I am not really sure what to do. ? Could it be possible after all these years, for it to now be negative?

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