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Old 01-26-2008, 09:47 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default how fast can als progress?

hello again.

How fast does als progress?

Within the past three weeks I have gone from feeling strong and perfectly healthy to having muscle weakness fasciculations, and cramps in my legs as well as weakness in my arms and cramps in my shoulders. The fasciculations seem to be exacerbated by excercising the muscle, although I also have random diffuse fascics at rest spread throughout my body (legs, arms, back, etc.) They are not constant, but sporadic.

As well as these problems, since last Sunday (1-20) I have developed a tinny or "squeaking") timbre to my voice when speaking at certain volumes However, my enunciation is still precise (no slurring) and my voice volume is good.

Can als progress this fast?

Thank you for answering my many questions!

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Old 01-26-2008, 09:49 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Bottom line: that is not ALS! There is no way it could have spread that quickly, so I'd go see your doc.
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Old 01-26-2008, 10:19 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Thank you so much for answering my question!

I have an appt. with a neurologist on Feb 12.

Yet another question - I had recent dental work (within the past several weeks) requiring injections of anesthetic. Could I be having some kind of weird nerve reaction to the anesthetic?

I also am having some kind of c-spine problem - oftentimes I can feel my neck pop and crack when I breathe. Gonna ask the doc about that too. Maybe my crackly neck is causing some of my problems.

I still have plenty of energy and good reflexes - I have a job that requires me to be on my feet for 12 hours at a stretch - so far so good. No problems with fine motor coordination and no clumsiness or problems climbing stairs, etc.

Thank you again - there are some wonderful and caring folks who post here!
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Old 01-26-2008, 12:11 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Hi Justme,
Hang in there. No one but a doctor can tell you what is going on with your body and a lot of times, the docs are not sure. The main thing right now is to try not to think about it and enjoy your life. One of the many lessons that I have learned from this forum is to enjoy your life no matter what obstacles are thrown at you. Every day is precious and should not be consumed with worry and regret. I think we could have all been Marines... adapt and overcome! Semper Fi (actually, a part of any branch of the military)

Take care.
Pam B in Va

PS - We live close to a Marine Corps base, so I hear that a lot.
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Old 11-08-2008, 10:10 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Hi Just Me

I wanted to check how you are doing. Did you get to the root of problems. Your story sounds frighteningly similar to mine.

Two weeks ago I started to get all over fasciculations. They were real thumpers at first (and no they were not myoclonic jerks as they were not over joints), but have since got much finer in nature. They are nearly always single fasciculations.

Since the fasciculations have started I have began to feel generally weak all over. I still have the strength, but the stamina has gone. For example I can still do straight leg raises how I used to, but I am really struggling to hold a leg raise static against gravity. Similarly I can still lift a 1 litre milk botlle, but if I hold it in front of me I cant sustain it for long - my arm shakes like mad. Any muscular exertion brings about a tremor during the action - even holding a smile makes my face muscles tremble.

My muscles also feel tight, particularly my calfs. My fingers also feel stiff.

My weakness appears to be global and symmetrical. It might be my imagination but sometimes I almost feel like it comes in waves - constantly there but much worse at times.

I have had a bad neck (cracking, stiff, limited range of movement) for some time now and thats what prompted me to sit up and pay attention to your post.
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Old 11-08-2008, 11:48 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Hi, whiteknight and just me ... want to point out that muscles that start out strong and weaken with exertion could be a symptom of Myasthenia Gravis, a treatable autoimmune condition.

Generally, with MG, you might be able to lift a heavy object easily once or twice, but a third time it is harder and a fourth it is impossible. (Same with holding a bottle straight out and losing strength as you hold it.) Then if you rest the muscle sufficiently, the strength returns. Bulbar symptoms (the tinny voice, or slurred speech) can also be part of MG.

The symptoms of MG can come on rapidly, I understand ... much quicker than ALS. This is just a thought ... there are MANY neuro problems with symptoms that overlap, but generally ALS sneaks up on you.
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Old 11-08-2008, 11:50 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Hi whiteknight. Your symptoms are too many and too fast to be ALS. It doesn't usually hit all over at once. I'd see a doc and see what he thinks. It could be something as simple as a virus.
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Old 11-08-2008, 02:55 PM   #8 (permalink)
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You guys are great its so nice to have a forum where people reply, and not only that but do so without being patronising.

So, just out of curiosity, does 'exertion tremor' not exist with ALS/MND?

I read that normally ALS starts in a single spot and spreads. Is that correct?

Are there any particular type of fascics that come as standard with ALS? i.e. complex as opposed to singles? Are the fascics generalised or again are they location specific?

And lastly do fascics exist without atrophy?

I ask these questions on the off chance that this has 'creeped' up on me and I just havent noticed. Certainly the widespread fasciculations are most definitely 100% new.

Thanks in advance for your input. I did think of MG but I couldnt find anything saying that it comes with fascics. So if anyone knows if it does I'd be interested to know.
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