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scc

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I am currnetly going through a round of tests, and while my neurologist has not said he is looking specifically at ALS, the research that I have done indicates that ALS is one of the diseases that match my symptoms. I had an MRI of my brain on Thurs. On Monday, I will have an MRI on my spine. In a couple of weeks an EMG and NCV will follow. My question is, how is a diagnosis of ALS actually reached? Is there a specific result from any of these tests that brings a doctor to this conclusion?

Here is a run down of what I have been living with. Any feedback is greatly appreciated.

For about a year I really thought I had restless leg syndrome. At night, I had leg cramps, twitches, and insomnia. Then in October I had my first fall. No more falls until March. Between March and today there have been about half a dozen falls. I have no warning that the fall is coming. I'm just walking and all of a sudden I'm on the ground. I also trip and stumble over my feet. I have now begun having cramping, particularly in my feet and calves, throughout the day. Since I'm only 35 I went to my GP. All of my bloodwork came back normal. He sent me to the neurologist, who said that because my toes went up instead of down when my feet were stimulated these tests were prudent. He didn't give much feedback on what he thought could be the source of the problem. So, upon research, I have learned a little about ALS. Thank you in advance for taking time to answer these questions. I realize there could be many reasons for the symptoms and many of you already know what you are dealing with and have much more to worry about than unfounded concerns.
 

PALS Mike

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Arriving at a diagnosed of ALS is a process of eliminating all other possible causes of your symptoms.
There is no one singular test to confirm it... :shock:
 

upila

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Hello,
This is what makes for diagn: 1) The EMG and NCV test must show active denervation in 4 diferent regions of the body 2) Fasciculations are present 3) No conductivity block (if the tests show nerve conductivity block, then other causes must be looked for 4) Blood tests negative for elevated proteins and GM1 5) spinal tap test negative 6) MRI negative
In addition, if there is any descernable muscle waste, or reflexes are exagerated.

In reading all previous posts, doctors still took a long time to firmly give ALS diagn. in the cases I've read. In my dad's case, the doctor took 30 min to give him the devastating news. And all he had was weakened thumb in one hand, with some muscle waste, barely perceptible, but fasciculations and cramps.
 

scc

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thanks upila

Upila,

Thank you. That gives me some understanding of what to expect. I appreciate you taking time to answer.
 
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