Old 08-23-2014, 03:19 PM #1 (permalink)
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Default Clean EMG?

Howdy all.

I have a question that I know has probably been asked a million times on here, so sorry in advance. I am just seeking some peace of mind. I got an EMG on one side of my body a couple of weeks ago and was wondering if a clean EMG meant absolutely no ALS? A few weeks after I have symptoms that are on the other side and are getting worse. It consists of a lot of cramping and twitching in only one area of my body (one arm.)

I had read on here that another woman (who was also in her twenties like myself) had gotten a clean EMG to begin with, then after a couple of months of waiting for symptoms to progress, got another one and it was dirty. I just wondered how often this happened..? I have gotten every other test done to cancel anything else out, which has stressed me out a bit. I also know that twitching and cramping in one area of the body, usually isn't a good sign either.. and had hear that sometimes UMN won't be picked up on and EMG at first. You can definitely correct me if that's wrong.

I also had watched a documentary where the dude said he felt stiffness/twitches in one limb, like a year before he was diagnosed. I was told by my neuro usually symptoms don't start that soon, so just confused at this point, just feel things have changed so much in that one arm, since I saw my neuro a couple of weeks ago.

Thanks in advance for your advice and responses.
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Old 08-23-2014, 03:30 PM #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Clean EMG?

An EMG will be "dirty" well in advance of any paralysis. Clean EMGs mean no ALS.

Cramps and twitches are not diagnostic. Paralysis doesn't cramp muscles, it makes them limp. And there is no pain when a muscle goes limp.

Twitches are very, very common to all kinds of problems and non-problems alike.

If your neuro has examined you and is not worried about ALS, you shouldn't be, either.
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Old 08-23-2014, 03:39 PM #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Clean EMG?

Upper motor neuron findings are on clinical exam never on EMG. EMG detects lower motor neuron damage. You need both for it to be ALS. If you had a clean exam and a clean EMG and you trust your neuro give them a call and just ask but I suspect they will say don't worry. ALS in a young woman with no family history is incredibly rare anyway. Do not know to whom you refer as to clean EMG then dirty. Please go back and make sure you read all their following posts and that the outcome did not change but even if this person did have ALS does not mean you do. And don't believe everything you read on the internet!
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Old 08-23-2014, 03:44 PM #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Clean EMG?

Thank y'all both for your responses. I am trying to stop reading everything on the internet, because it makes me even more anxious. I will definitely just have to talk to my neuro about my concerns. Again, thank you. I appreciate it.
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Old 08-23-2014, 05:09 PM #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Clean EMG?

Tales of ALS after a clean EMG are about like tales alien abduction... they are out there but the proof never seems to be. If you had a clean EMG, I wouldn't worry about ALS.

Mike's right about twitches and cramps... very common... and not diagnostic of any particular disease.

And Nikki's right about UMN not being seen on EMGs. EMG are for LMN.

By the way, you generally lose about 70% of your nerve fiber before you will experience weakness, so the EMG will pick up nerve damage ages before you will feel it.
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Old 08-23-2014, 05:41 PM #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Clean EMG?

Nan_Jane1, your Thread is sincere, a rarity lately (my opinion). You have got good advice from three of the best on this Forum (so far - maybe more). Hope your Neuro finds what is going on.
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Old 08-23-2014, 05:44 PM #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Clean EMG?

Thank you Dusty for the information and thank you Clearwater.
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Old 08-23-2014, 06:03 PM #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Clean EMG?

>your Thread is sincere, a rarity lately (my opinion).

cynic ...
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Old 08-23-2014, 06:17 PM #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Clean EMG?

" cynic ... "

Yea, I guess so... what pees people off (including my wife) is how often I am right. There is a rare occasion I am wrong but... I will admit when I am. Even rarer... I will apologize
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