Old 12-08-2014, 10:36 PM #1 (permalink)
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Default Relieved, but not sure if I believe.

We visited the neurologist today (follow up from the abnormal EMG).
Neurologist believes this is *NOT* ALS. (omg, I am so relieved!). He thinks that the gait/ balance issues are a result of damage to her spine b/c of compression & scar tissue. He said if there was damage in the cervical spine region there is likely damage in her lumbar region (she will get an MRI of neck & lumbar on Wed). He also believes her dementia/ executive dysfunction issues are a result of micro-vessel damage (due to mini-stroke/ hypertension & long standing moderate alcoholism). He said the EMG was abnormal mostly in her right arm (where she experienced numbness ect that diagnosed the cervical spinal issues) and some in her legs (but not her mid back which is what made him rule out ALS). Given the history of my brother with ALS and my aunt with Pick's disease... I am having a hard time believing 100%. However, I am so relieved! Please please let this diagnosis stick! Please.
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Old 12-09-2014, 04:17 AM #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Relieved, but not sure if I believe.

Oh so hoping it is true ! Was this an ALS specialist? Is this a second opinion or the original neurologist?
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Old 12-10-2014, 11:36 AM #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Relieved, but not sure if I believe.

I hope it is true too! Yes, this neurologist runs the MND clinic at her hospital. I wonder if we should get a second opinion, but we will see what the MRI says today.
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Old 12-10-2014, 12:23 PM #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Relieved, but not sure if I believe.

Best of luck to you. Chances sound really good that it's not ALS.
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Old 12-11-2014, 11:56 PM #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Relieved, but not sure if I believe.

I think I believe....
Her MRI came back with severe issues in her L4/L5 (on top of her C3-C7 cervical spinal fusions showing some post-op changes).
And now I know why there was so much confusion! Reading more about it all I came across:

"Differential Diagnosis
To arrive at an accurate diagnosis, it is critical for the physician to consider other disorders that have similar symptoms as cervical spondylotic myelopathy (a "differential diagnosis").
Other conditions associated with neck pain and arm pain, motor-sensory-reflex changes, and signs of spinal cord dysfunction include:
Progressive forms of multiple sclerosis
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease)
Hereditary spastic paraplegia
Sub acute combined degeneration of the spinal cord associated with vitamin B12 deficiency
Certain spinal cord tumors or vascular conditions, such as an AVM (anteriovenous malformation)
Combined system disease"

And with a son who has ALS....... I guess I understand why the Neurologist gave us a preliminary diagnosis of ALS, but upon further investigation into her medical history wanted more information.
This diagnosis is not good, but please oh please oh please let this be the only cause!

Thank you all so much for listening as we travel this road. I have no where else to put my random thoughts. Something that weighs heavily on my mind is how much to tell my brother (who is in his 6th year of his ALS diagnosis)... I did email him (hopefully one of the LPNs will read the email to him) to tell him about this new information. I don't know if he understands now, but I hope this eases his mind.
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Old 12-12-2014, 04:52 AM #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Relieved, but not sure if I believe.

Oh that is such wonderful news! You of course have much to deal with still but if ALS is really off the table here you must be doing cartwheels of joy!
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Old 12-12-2014, 07:36 AM #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Relieved, but not sure if I believe.

this is the stuff that makes my day. throw some cartwheels for me to . i don't think im up to it.
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Old 12-30-2014, 12:28 PM #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Relieved, but not sure if I believe.

>this is the stuff that makes my day

me 2!
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