Peripheral neuropathy

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centralnjgal
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Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 71
   Posted 4/14/2007 5:56 PM (GMT -7)   
Can someone explain peripheral neuropathy to me? Could numbness in your foot/arm and (sorry to get personal) dulled orgasms (I'm not on any medication) be a result of p.n? I have no lesions on my brain, c-spine and passed the neurological tests -EEG, etc..
 
 
Thanks!

uppitycats
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Date Joined Jun 2005
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   Posted 4/14/2007 6:14 PM (GMT -7)   

Here's the way the nervous system was explained to me, a long time ago:

Think about electricity to your house.

There are wires from your house to a "feeder line" that connects to the other houses on your street.

The "feeder line" connects to a "main line".

You're sitting in your living room, reading a book, and the lights go out!  You look around, thinking the bulb has burned out in the lamp -- and indeed -- all the other lights in the house are working. So it's a very small electrical problem,-- in the body, a pinched nerve, that will recover when you "screw in a new bulb" -- shake it, move around, get the blood flowing.

OR: you look around, and realize the lights are out all throughout the house, but your neighbors have lights! The problem is with the line from your house to the "feeder line" -- in the body, that would be "peripheral neuropathy" -- the nerves from your extremities to your spinal cord are impaired in some way -- but the central nervous system -- the "main line" is functioning fine (no lesions appearing on repeated MRI's of either the brain or spinal cord"

OR: you look around, and realize the lights are out through the entire neighborhood -- a "central nervous system problem".

So a peripheral nerve problem means that somewhere in the nervous system pathways from your extremities (arms, legs) or other more outer areas of the body there is a problem, but the central nervous system is working properly.  The nerves that create sensations like touch (your hands, and yes, your sex organs) are impaired -- signals aren't being transmitted properly to the central nervous system -- but the central nervous system is not impaired.

The next step will be to try to figure out what the peripheral nerve problem is. If it's in the extremities, maybe there's a pinched nerve, or series of pinched or injured nerves somewhere. Or maybe in your spine (which could lead to problems with your extremities and sex organs) there's some mechanical malfunction.

 

Anyway. Maybe this makes sense?

 

 

 

 


...I am not a doctor, nor health professional, and don't pretend to be one, here.....


Denda
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Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 329
   Posted 4/15/2007 5:23 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Uppity!

Sorry to jump in on your post NJgal! I was wondering if what I always thought about the diffference in Peripheral vs CN is the peripheral is dx'd by an emg, where with issues with CN the emg shows normal? I know that's not the end all be all for a dx for either, but can you tell me if that is right or not?
I not only use all the brains that I have, but all that I can borrow.
  Author: Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924), 28th U.S. President


uppitycats
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Date Joined Jun 2005
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   Posted 4/15/2007 7:21 AM (GMT -7)   
Denda said...
Hi Uppity!

Sorry to jump in on your post NJgal! I was wondering if what I always thought about the diffference in Peripheral vs CN is the peripheral is dx'd by an emg, where with issues with CN the emg shows normal? I know that's not the end all be all for a dx for either, but can you tell me if that is right or not?

Denda, that's what I always understood, too -- that an emg is done as part of the MS diagnosis process. If the results of the emg come back "positive" -- that means there is a problem with the peripheral nervous system, that is causing the numbness or tingling that the patient is experiencing.
 
But if the emg comes back "negative" , or normal -- that means the problem isn't with the extremity itself, but further along the "nerve line" -- the central nervous system.
...I am not a doctor, nor health professional, and don't pretend to be one, here.....


centralnjgal
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 71
   Posted 4/15/2007 12:42 PM (GMT -7)   
Denda and uppitycats.
Thanks for your response.
What if my neurological tests (EMG, etc) are normal, and my brain, c-spine tests are normal but I still experience numbness in foot and arm and dulled orgasms. Are you saying that's a CNS issue because of the negative EMG?
 
thanks!
 
Eleanor

uppitycats
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Date Joined Jun 2005
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   Posted 4/15/2007 1:43 PM (GMT -7)   
That COULD be a CNS issue. But not necessarily. And presumably you've been tested for all the OTHER things that might cause numbness, and dulled orgasms? Like thyroid issues (both over-active and under-active thyroid problems can cause numbness and tingling), diabetes, menopause, other metabolic disorders? And sometimes there are sensory problems with no known cause....and you just have to live with it. Doctors can't find a reason, nothing more dramatic develops, just a numb leg, or foot, or whatever.

And remember -- none of us here are doctors. We're just guessing, from afar.
...I am not a doctor, nor health professional, and don't pretend to be one, here.....


Denda
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 329
   Posted 4/15/2007 3:44 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the clarification on that Uppity. I thought I had heard that somewhere, more than likely here! ;o) Thanks again
I not only use all the brains that I have, but all that I can borrow.
  Author: Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924), 28th U.S. President


Shashi
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 156
   Posted 4/15/2007 4:13 PM (GMT -7)   
Well, let me jump in here and ask a question too. Would a thyroid problem, menopause, or diabetes cause hyperactive knee reflexes and a present Babinski reflex? My MRIs, LP, and EMG were normal too.

Also, what's the difference between an SSER (somatosensory evoked potential response) and an EMG? My SSER on my left leg was abnormal (that's the leg with the abnormal reflexes.)

Thanks! (By the way, Uppity, that's an excellent anaology of the nervous system. I'll have to remember that to use in my anatomy and physiology classes. I think my students would understand that better.)


Hugs,
 
Lisa ~
 
Living in Limboland!
 
I may not know what my future holds, but I know who holds my future.


uppitycats
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Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2135
   Posted 4/15/2007 6:18 PM (GMT -7)   
Sorry, Lisa, I don't know the answer to your question. I never had an SSER and don't know what it tests for, or how it is done. As for the reflexes -- the problem often is this: unless there was some reason for you to have had your reflexes tested BEFORE you had a problem -- it's not always possible to know for certain that they ARE "hyperactive", or just "normal for you". Some people just have hyperactive reflexes! The Babinski is another story...but I have heard of folks who have had a "present Babinski reflex" one time, and it be normal another. Who knows.
...I am not a doctor, nor health professional, and don't pretend to be one, here.....


Kimber
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Date Joined Jun 2005
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   Posted 4/15/2007 7:33 PM (GMT -7)   
Lisa, the SSER tests how fast signals are going from the nerves in the body to the brain.  It can detect problems with nerves in the spinal cord and brain.  The EMG tests the peripheral nerves outside of the central nervous system.  Hope this helps.
 
 
 
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Shashi
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 156
   Posted 4/16/2007 6:43 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks, Kim. I understand the difference now.

Uppity, my hyperactive knee reflexes just started a few months ago. They were normal starting out, and now I almost kick the doctor each time. (She says it's an occupational hazard.)
Hugs,
 
Lisa ~
 
Living in Limboland!
 
I may not know what my future holds, but I know who holds my future.

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