Young Male with Neurological Condition

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bduritsch
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 4/5/2009 5:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey everyone,

This is my first time using a website like this. But I feel
that I should get my information out there so that I can
try and get some help with a diagnosis. I have had many
things happen to me as far as symptoms go, but here goes...

I'm a 23 year old male, leading a fairly healthy lifestyle with
taking no medication other than an albuterol inhaler for my
asthma (I also have allergies, but not to any medications.)
Anyway, about five years ago I found out that I had a disorder
known as "peripheral neuropathy" affecting my entire body in
the form of sensory nerves. Basically, my skin felt as if it lost
a layer of sensation. Almost like wearing thin gloves over my
skin. I could still feel things like temperature and pressure and
touch however. At that same time I also found out that recently
to having that symptom, a blood test came back showing that I
had caught mononucleosis as well. I went to a neurologist about
this condition and he did some tests on me and found that I did
in fact have peripheral neuropathy, but he wasn't sure if the mono
caused it or not.

Fast forward five years and over the past few days things have
suddenly gotten worse and I don't know if it's related. Over a month
ago I had what's called "sudden hearing loss" in both my ears which
caused me to lose a little bit of hearing, but not much. Enough to
produce noises in my ears called "tinnitus". This condition is still
present in me at the moment. I had just woke up one day with a
ringing in my ears and fullness/pressure in them. I went to see an
ENT doctor and he said it might be caused by a virus so he prescribed
some steroids for my inner ear and vitamins. The steroids ended up
getting rid of the fullness/pressure but not the noises.

Aside from that, a few days ago I was just going about my life when
I noticed that my face felt different. It felt like it had novacaine in it,
or perhaps the feeling of being asleep like when you sit on your hand
or something. That's the only way I can describe it. It was on both
sides of my face and all over. Pretty soon I noticed that this new type
of neuropathy or whatever is all over my body for the most part. I'm
not sure if it has to do with muscles or skin. But the muscles do feel
tender. Now a few days ago I noticed that I'm having a bit trouble walking
on my right leg, in particular it feels weak for some reason. Naturally,
I was pretty freaked out, so I checked myself into the Emergency Room
and they performed things on me such as a CT Scan, and MRI of my brain,
as well as blood tests. Everything came back normal. The next thing
they want me to do is go and see a Neurologist.

Can anyone PLEASE give me some sort of direction for a diagnosis for
this? I really really want to know what's happened to me. I need some
sort of treatment. Will things get worse or stay the same? I just want to
know. Right now I have all the same symptoms I mentioned. Mainly
the burning/tingling feeling in parts of my body such as my feet and back,
as well as the trouble walking (not always, it comes and goes) and the
numbness I described earlier. What should be the next step? An MRI
of my spine? Please let me know what could be going on.

Is there any way to rule out any life-threatening diseases?
Things like Parkinson's or the condition that Stephen Hawking
has? What about auto-immune disorders and things like that?
Is there any chance of Multiple Sclerosis, even though my brain
MRI and blood tests came up clean? I also heard that a ruptured disc or
lesions in the spinal cord can cause similar things to this as well.

Thanks!

EBullins
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 63
   Posted 4/6/2009 9:22 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey New Dude,
Best advice, you need to see a Neurologist. You also need to know that you may not get a confirmed diagnosis right away so you need to be prepared for that. Try to relax, it takes time to get in to these Doctors and you may have to go through several Neurologists before you find the one who is right for you. Things have to be ruled out, observed and sometimes progress before a diagnosis can be made. To answer one of your questions, can MS be diagnosed with a clean MRI, the answer is yes because I am one of them. A rare 2% of us do not ever have our lesions show up on an MRI. But through careful evaluation and time, can be correctly diagnosed. I have had MS for 18 years and have just been diagnosed formally this past year. My aunt had MS for over 20 years before her 1st lesion showed up on an MRI, my half brother had an MRI that showed nothing and an MRI 2 weeks later that was full of lesions. Since you have only had a brain MRI, your Neuro would be the one to advise you on further areas such as neck and thoracic. I know this can be a very frightening time but stay cool, equip yourself with knowledge and know we are all here for you with support.

Take care and keep us posted,
Elizabeth
~~~Know Peace Know Power~~~
 
***Let emotions subside then decide***


mc21
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 4/6/2009 12:06 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you so much for that information I didnt know you could have a clear MRI and be diagnosised.  I have been seeing a nurologiest but didnt feel he was a very good DR and asked him to send me on to someone with a bit more knowledge I am lucky he finally did but not so lucky that I have to wait till JUne to see the new DR so now I am trying to find a different one.
I wish you the best bduritsch and hope you find your answers soon. 
 

 
 

Gretchen1
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 3524
   Posted 4/6/2009 3:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Please remember that until diagnostic science advances....most doctos won't give you a diagnosis until you have more than one lesion.  It has been said by many that you can receive a dx without lesions, BUT that is only after the doctor has exhausted all other possible causes (many illnesses cause lesions ).  A diagnosis with lesions can take time....a diagnosis without lesions usually take years.  And, even if one gets a diagnosis without lesions, that diagnosis is questioned if lesions don't show up within a year or so.  Many doctors are nervous to diagnose without lesions.  Instead they will go with "possible or probable MS".  That diagnosis usually gets you no treatment, instead you get the "watch and wait" routine.

Gretchen       co-moderator MS board       diagnosed with MS July 2006
 
I have no lesions on my soul and so I will live with no limits.


bduritsch
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 4/6/2009 9:48 PM (GMT -6)   
It looks like my spinal MRI scan came back clean. However, my
neurologist found a "spot" on my neck that was about 1-2 mm
and may be of concern.

Anyway, hearing this information I found this website describing
a condition that has the exact same symptoms that I am having.

http://www.umm.edu/spinecenter/education/cervical_spinal_stenosis.htm

Does anyone think this could be causing my feeling of numbness
in my extremities, difficulty placing my right foot when I walk,
and not being able to locate my arms and legs when I close my eyes?

How do I pose this question to my doctor?

Thanks.

bduritsch
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 4/6/2009 9:49 PM (GMT -6)   
My neck does feel stiff ever since I was in marching band in
high school. I may have injured my neck in some form, but
that was over 4 years ago, could there be a connection?

Gretchen1
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 3524
   Posted 4/7/2009 8:47 AM (GMT -6)   
I really can't answer your questions.  The way you ask your doctor is to say......."when I was in high school, I was in the marching band.  Could I have injured my neck by doing...........?"  You can do it!  Good luck and let us know how youare doing.

Gretchen       co-moderator MS board       diagnosed with MS July 2006
 
I have no lesions on my soul and so I will live with no limits.


bduritsch
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 4/10/2009 6:38 PM (GMT -6)   
Cervical :

IMPRESSION :

MILD DEGENERATIVE DISC DISEASE WITHOUT SIGNIFICANT
CENTRAL CANAL STENOSIS OR CORD EDEMA. PUNCTATE AREA
OF DILATATION OF THE CENTRAL CANAL IN THE SPINAL CORD
IS OF QUESTIONABLE SIGNIFICANCE, LOCATED AT THE C4 LEVEL.
NO AREAS OF ABNORMAL ENHANCEMENT OR CORD SIGNAL TO
SUGGEST INVOLVEMENT OF IMS.

Thoracic :

IMPRESSION: UNREMARKABLE APPEARANCE OF THORACIC SPINE
WITH TRACE UPPER THORACIC MINIMAL DEGENERATIVE DISC
DISEASE.

Based on these results, are there any diseases that represent a
recurrence of symptoms that relates my peripheral neuropathy, sudden

bilateral hearing loss, and this new problem I'm having
with increased numbess and weakness in my limbs?

bduritsch
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 4/10/2009 6:39 PM (GMT -6)   
I have seen my Neurologist already, but he is convinced
that I'm having a "chemical imbalance" that is triggering
these problems. I just want some other medical opinions
on this.

Gretchen1
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 3524
   Posted 4/10/2009 8:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Did you ask him what he meant by chemical imbalance?  What treatment does he recommend?  I am not a doctor, so I can't say if there are any other diseases that could be causing your symptoms. 

Gretchen       co-moderator MS board       diagnosed with MS July 2006
 
I have no lesions on my soul and so I will live with no limits.


bduritsch
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 4/11/2009 6:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Yes. The neurologist basically described that the "feelings" I am getting cannot be seen from an MRI.
He believes it has something to do with brain chemistry. The doctor prescribed Klonopin for me,
as well as Amrix which is a muscle relaxer because he noticed how stiff my neck was and the neck
pain and upper back pain I was having. However, I told him that I have never felt
depressed/anxious before enough to do this sort of thing to my body. I found one condition on a
website that describes my symptoms in full...it is called cervical myelopathy, a compression of the
spinal cord that can cause numbness in the limbs and difficulty walking.

Can anyone help me interpret what these MRI findings mean?

Findings:
MR CERVICAL SPINE WITHOUT AND WITH CONTRAST, 4/6/09 @ 6:31 PM:


CLINICAL HISTORY:
23-year-old male with numbness in muscles, sensitivity all over
body.


TECHNIQUE:
Axial T2, T1 and post contrast T1-weighted images were obtained, as
well as sagittal T1, T2, proton density, STIR and post contrast
T1-weighted images.


FINDINGS:
No prior exam is available for comparison.


There is motion artifact on multiple sequences which slightly limits
evaluation. The normal cervical lordosis is grossly maintained with no
acute fracture or subluxation appreciated. Prevertebral soft tissues
appear unremarkable with no abnormal paraspinous collections or masses
appreciated. No geographic marrow lesion is identified. There is mild
loss of disc signal and disc height at the C3-C4 levels, though no disc
bulge, neural foraminal stenosis or central canal stenosis is seen.
Atlanto-axial and atlanto-occipital articulations are grossly
maintained. The posterior fossa is normal in configuration.


At C5-6, there is a mild broad-based generalized disc bulge which is
slightly greatest centrally. This causes anterior effacement of the
thecal sac, though it does not contact the cord and does not cause
significant central canal stenosis. No significant neural foraminal
stenosis is seen at this level, either.


The C6-7 and C7-T1 levels appear unremarkable.


There is a punctate area of increased T2 signal within the central
cord at the C4 level. It is located at the very center of the cord and
is appreciated on axial image 10-33; this is most consistent with a
punctate syrinx or focal dilatation of the central canal of the spinal
cord. However, this measures only 1-2 mm in size and is of
questionable significance. No other areas of abnormal T2 cord signal
are present. No abnormal areas of enhancement are identified. On T1
images, there appears to be normal signal flow voids within the
bilateral vertebral arteries with the left vertebral artery slightly
dominant.


IMPRESSION:


MILD DEGENERATIVE DISC DISEASE WITHOUT SIGNIFICANT CENTRAL CANAL
STENOSIS OR CORD EDEMA. PUNCTATE AREA OF DILATATION OF THE CENTRAL
CANAL IN THE SPINAL CORD IS OF QUESTIONABLE SIGNIFICANCE, LOCATED AT
THE C4 LEVEL. NO AREAS OF ABNORMAL ENHANCEMENT OR CORD SIGNAL TO
SUGGEST INVOLVEMENT OF IMS.*** Final *** Trans On: 04/06/2009 21:1by: SEE


Findings:
MR THORACIC SPINE WITH AND WITHOUT CONTRAST: 4/6/09 at 6:31 p.m.


CLINICAL HISTORY: 23 year old male with dizziness and numbness.


There is concern for multiple sclerosis.


TECHNIQUE: Sagittal T2, T1, proton density, STIR and post contrast
T1-weighted images were obtained as well as axial T1, T2 and post
contrast T1-weighted images.


FINDINGS: No geographic marrow lesions are identified. The
vertebral heights are maintained. No acute fracture or subluxation
identified. There is some minimal loss of disc signal within upper
thoracic disc levels though overall disc heights are maintained. No
central canal or neural foraminal stenosis is present. No abnormal
areas of T2 cord signal are present within the cord. No epidural mass
or hematoma is identified. No abnormal areas of enhancement are seen.
Thoracic aorta appears unremarkable in the visualized portions with no
aneurysm or dissection.


IMPRESSION: UNREMARKABLE APPEARANCE OF THORACIC SPINE WITH TRACE
UPPER THORACIC MINIMAL DEGENERATIVE DISC DISEASE.*** Final *** Trans On: 04/06/2009 21:4by: MAZ

Gretchen1
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 3524
   Posted 4/11/2009 6:46 PM (GMT -6)   
Again, I am not a doctor so I can't read it completely.  There is a lot there that I don't know the meaning of.  It does seem that you moved and that caused a bit of a blur or difficult to read portion........"motion artifact".  You can always take your report and a copy of the MRI and present it to another doctor for a second opinion.  You coud ask about cervical myelopathy at the same time.  Good luck.

Gretchen       co-moderator MS board       diagnosed with MS July 2006
 
I have no lesions on my soul and so I will live with no limits.


bduritsch
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 4/11/2009 9:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Yeah, I think that would be my best bet to get a second opinion.
In the meantime, do you know of a physician forum for neurology
that I can ask my question to a doctor?

Thanks!

Gretchen1
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 3524
   Posted 4/11/2009 10:13 PM (GMT -6)   
Sorry, I know of no such forum.

Gretchen       co-moderator MS board       diagnosed with MS July 2006
 
I have no lesions on my soul and so I will live with no limits.


bduritsch
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 5/13/2009 6:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey again everyone.

I am currently going to a Chiropractor for my condition.
After many tests and many doctors visits, I think we have
established what my problem is causing so many neurological
symptoms.

My chiropractor said that many of these problems are
having to do with several cervical as well as thoracic
alignment issues that I was having. So, I have been going
to have many times and so far he has helped me out
tremendously, and I am recovering. However, he
looked at my MRI and mentioned something about the
part in my report about a "Syrinx" and he said that
most of the time that isn't a problem and I may have
to have it drained if it's causing something wrong.

My question is :

Does anyone know about a Syrinx? What causes it and
what kind of symptoms would I be having? What can I
do about it as far as getting it drained or does it not need
to be treated?

Thanks!

Gretchen1
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 3524
   Posted 5/13/2009 7:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Sorry, never heard of it.
Gretchen       co-moderator MS board       diagnosed with MS July 2006
 
I have no lesions on my soul and so I will live with no limits.

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