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Old 07-16-2010, 04:47 PM   #1
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Question New to this. Abnormal emg. Concerned that is could be ALS.

I am a 39 yr old healthy female. I developed tingling and numbness in my feet about 2 months ago. My primary care doc ordered a nerve conduction study/EMG. The motor nerve conduction study was normal. The needle EMG revealed neurogenic findings. The tests concluded I have early but significant peripheral neuropathy. Since the emg was completed the tingling and numbness has spread to my hands and legs and some numbness on the right side of my face. On 3 separate occasions I have attempted to get out of bed in the morning and my left leg was completely numb. After 10 minutes of massaging it would return to normal. I have also experienced difficulty with fine motor skills in my hands. Obviously this is very upsetting and of concern to me.

The neurologist has run multiple blood tests. Glusose, b12, folate, iron, thyroid, SPEP/IFE serum protein, CKE/CK all have come back fine. MRI of brain came back fine. Paraneoplastic disorder blood tests came back with 2 of the 3 tests negative and 1 "borderline". He said I shouldn't be concerned about this, however I do question this. He has put me on 10mg daily dose of Nortriptyline. It does help me sleep but does not take away all of the constant tingling and buzzing that I feel when laying down. He feels I should stick with the medicine for 4-6 months and "see what happens". I am not comfortable waiting. It makes me anxious which only makes my symptoms worse.

The doc feels it is not MS due to a normal MRI. I have great concern about ALS as it seems as though I have many of the symptoms. I have already set an appointment with another neurologist for a second opinion however the first available appointment isn't for 6 more weeks. The unknown bothers me more than anything! Has anyone experienced similar symptoms? Thank you in advance for any advice or thoughts. It is appreciated very much!

 
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Old 07-20-2010, 08:48 PM   #2
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Re: New to this. Abnormal emg. Concerned that is could be ALS.

A second opinion is wise. I just wanted to let you know that I have MS and my mother had ALS. With her ALS, she never experienced numbness and tingling. She had weakness, muscle fasciculations and muscle atrophy. With MS, numbness and tingling are common. There are MANY neurological disorders. MS may not show on a MRI right away. You should have a cervical spine MRI in addition to a brain MRI. Make sure they do the test with and without contrast. A second opinion would be helpful and a follow up MRI in the future. Good luck with answers and don't stop until your comfortable with the answers you receive.

 
Old 07-21-2010, 03:33 PM   #3
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Re: New to this. Abnormal emg. Concerned that is could be ALS.

Thanks for the feedback. ALS is such a terrible disease and it is overwhelming to think about. Your comments helped alleviate some of my concerns, but I still have many questions for my next appointment. I think the unknown is what makes this so difficult. I will ask about a cervical spine MRI. What are they looking for with this? Did this help in your diagnosis? I will keep seeking answers, like you suggest. Thank you again and the best to you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anxiousme View Post
A second opinion is wise. I just wanted to let you know that I have MS and my mother had ALS. With her ALS, she never experienced numbness and tingling. She had weakness, muscle fasciculations and muscle atrophy. With MS, numbness and tingling are common. There are MANY neurological disorders. MS may not show on a MRI right away. You should have a cervical spine MRI in addition to a brain MRI. Make sure they do the test with and without contrast. A second opinion would be helpful and a follow up MRI in the future. Good luck with answers and don't stop until your comfortable with the answers you receive.

 
Old 07-21-2010, 05:03 PM   #4
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Re: New to this. Abnormal emg. Concerned that is could be ALS.

MS lesions or plaques can show up in the brain/spine or both. MS effects the central nervous system which includes the spine. People with MS that have certain symptoms can trace there symptoms to lesions in the spine not the brain. MS is a very different disease for everyone that is diagnosed. Some people have minor disabilities with MANY lesions, while some have significant disablities with just one or two lesions. It depends on what area of the brain or spine that is effected. Remember there are many possibilites besides MS and ALS. Have you been tested for Lyme's disease, etc?

As I said my mom had ALS...Since June I have been having involuntary muscle twitching in my left toes and left calf. It is 24/7. Also, a tight charley horse feeling. This is not typical of MS but more symtommatic of neuro muscluar disease-ALS. My neurologist agreed with that. 2 weeks ago, I had an EMG looking for ALS. I was convinced it was because of my family history. I was a wreck. The test came back normal...No ALS. Phew. Of course the symptoms are still occurring and I can't get ALS our of my mind. I've convinced myself that the test was conducted to early and didn't show. My point is that I understand how scary this process can be. The best advice is to stay off the internet searching symptoms and continue to go to neuros and specialist until they find out what is wrong. There usually isn't anything that can be done overnight anyways. Diagnosis of neurological problems can be very lenghty. Journal everything even if it seems minor. It may trigger a thought process for the right doc.

Again, based on your numbness and tingling, I ALS doesn't jump to the forefront.
Good Luck. Keep us posted, it will help others going down the same road.

 
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