I have early stage symptoms of ALS (I think) and am getting my EMG tomorrow, is it possible for an EMG to be done too early to detect anything?

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George Zhao

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I am 17 years old, I know it's very unlikely for a person of my age to develop ALS, but I've had what I think are early symptoms of ALS. I feel fasciculations on all four of my limbs. My entire body shakes involuntarily and I often feel nauseatic. My left arm feels weaker than my right arm, though no significant strength difference exist at this moment, so L'm not sure whether it can be identified as "fatigue". I also feel my left hand is not moving as swift as my right one anymore, especially with my ring and little finger (unnatural since I am a guitar player, my left hand finger should be more flexible). This can be felt at this moment while I'm typing, I can feel how it's more difficult to type keys located on the left like "A" or "Shift". I also notice what I believe to be a shrink on my left Hypothenar muscle, I will attach a photo. I often drop stuff accidentally (more than a normal person would), and feel my grasps are weaker (not sure if it is the shaking or loss of strength that's causing it). A vague numbness covers my entire left arm and hand. I also experience pain with my limbs, usually with my forearms, calfs, and joints connected to them. I will follow up with symptoms if I forgot to mention them. I am getting my EMG and several other tests tomorrow. With all the symptoms mentioned above, is it possible for the EMG to be normal while I have ALS? I have read articles about EMG not being able to detect early stage ALS, is this correct? Can I rule out the possibility of having ALS if my test results are normal tomorrow?

Forgive my poor grammar, I am not a native speaker.

the problem with my fingers can better be described as "difficulty coordinating my fingers". I have trouble making my fingers go where I intended them to go to. For instance it's very hard for me now to press my fingers on the right place of the right cord while playing a song I am very familiar with on a guitar. Another example would be typing: My typing speed did not slow down significantly, but I frequently click the wrong key while typing, the frequency greatly exceeds what can be considered as normal.
 

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ShiftKicker

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Hi George-

We ask that all people read here: Read Before Posting

I've removed the extra posts with pictures. In the above link, it explains why photos really aren't helpful here. In it you will also read about the EMG test, particularly as it pertains to ALS. In short, no your test tomorrow is not too early. An EMG will detect ALS very early- sometimes before a person even notices deficits.

There are many other reasons for issues with coordination, so to assume ALS is not logical at this time. Your doctor will be able to provide you with more guidance about what the issue might be once you get your various test results back.

Please make sure to read the above link, it has lots of information for you.

Please let us know how your appointment goes tomorrow.

Take care
 
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