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Posted by Ted Humpton on February 16, 2000 at 11:10:07:

Dear Doctor,

I have been suffering from various neurological symptoms since the beginning of October 1999.
I slowly started to feel and see sensible tremor in my hands and jaw (chewing, unperceivable from outside) and it got slowly worst. The tremor is very fine and rapid and appears to be a rest tremor, since it disappears in motion. A typical example is when I put my hand flat on the table and lift a finger it trembles very quickly back and fort (itís a resting tremor, like PD, but not so evident). The tremor is universal and present in all extremities and on both sides (outside my hands, itís less evident and is more like balancing). I also have small involuntary movements of head and right feet which resemble some kind of electric shock (and sometimes fingers and other parts). I donít have any optic problem nor do I have any general problem in balance, headache or any remarkable pains. Another problem is fatigability and stiffness. When I dance, for example, for more than 10 minutes, I loss the control of my movements and my feet become like rusted metal (so does the trembling increase). In general, when I stretch or lift my foot it trembles and my muscles feel totally powerless and my members start to tremble, or you may call it shaking, very much. The same thing happens when I type or write (sometimes I can write only 10 lines before it starts to hurt and I canít anymore). Another minor thing, which I have since the middle of December, is an excessive sweating under my arms. Iím not quite sure whether my cognition functions are disturbed.
My neurologist has been studying the problem since three months. I have undergone blood tests, lumbar punction, EEG and CT scan. Iím still waiting to get a RMI, which should be next summer (a long wait). None of these tests have shown any problem. My doctor says that it isnít essential tremor (I have tried propanol and alcohol, too) or PD. I have also tried some antidepressants or tranquillisers (e.g. bromazepam). In general, he says I have no need to be worried since it doesnít seem to progress.
The reason why Iím writing here, is that there is some relevant things I havenít told my doctor, since Iím afraid these reasons could influence his decisions and make him less motivated to find the origins of my troubles. I would be most obliged if you could fill this gap and honestly tell me whether I truly have any hope.
Iím 23 years old and I have always been one of those open-minded and sans-souci persons who loved parties. In 1997 some of my friends started to visit rave parties and at the same time started using drugs like ecstasy. Under the influence of my friends and good persuasion, too, I gave up and took my first ecstasy in the late 1997sí. Of course, after the first time, the second time was much more easier. In the period between late 1997 and 1999 I took around 20-25 pills of MDMA. In the July 1999 I finally decided to give up all this since I became more conscious about itís dangers after new researches had been published. Since then, I hadnít got any physical or mental problem. But then, in august 1999, in a period of 3 days, I snorted around 700mg of methamphetamines (the last day a little bit alcohol, too). I donít know what made me do this foolish error. Maybe was it the fact that the information I had read on amphetamines shower a great deal less evidences on what concerns possible brain damage. My judgment was also fooled by the fact that so much noise was made of possible toxic effects of ecstasy but no such a noise was made about amphetamines (at least not in the researches I had read). The symptoms mentioned above came about one month after my amphetamines abuse (symptoms came only one month later).
Iím not sure whether drugs are the reason of my symptoms, but I wouldnít be surprised if they were. That is the information Iím looking for here. However, I hope my story teaches something and prevents somebody else doing the same fault. I have really got a hard lesson. I hope that the progress in medicine would help me some day and Iím very interested about information on possible or future treatment.

Friendly,

Ted

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