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Old 08-30-2012, 06:46 AM   #1
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neurological symptoms, had a CT and MRI without contrast, was clear so what is it?

Hello,

First of all, let me start by saying sorry if something in my explanation doesn't make sense as this unknown ailment is starting to get to my cognitive thinking quite bad.

Right, about two months ago, I started getting headaches and occasional twitches in my eyes, I went to doctor after doctor and they said that it was just stress and it would pass. a few weeks later, it didn't pass and got alot worse. it started to affect my speech and language skills with pronunciation and speaking large amounts without stuttering or getting lost on what I was saying. or 'tripping up' in mid-sentence. my twitches also started to spread to every part of my body that had a muscle, and then I started getting very bad neck pains and tingling in my legs and arms.

Went to a neurologist who sent me for a CT scan, just to be safe. but he said there was nothing worth getting worried about as he said there was nothing serious that he could see.

Had the CT without contrast done which came back clear.

as the weeks went on, my symptoms started progressing again, I noticed that my ability to read text had now been affected, I would get lost whilst reading sentences or replace words in sentences with completely different words that aren't there. my muscle twitches started getting more violent, I will occasionally jump up in my bed whilst asleep because my whole body will just decide to spasm, like getting a shock. I also started getting visual disturbances, my vision will go blurry occasionally, like the blurriness you get when you have something in your eye, will be relieved by rubbing it but will keep coming back, usually happens in the mornings but can happen during the day. also started seeing black dots and lines in my vision and flashing lights when I'm trying to sleep. I will also have moments where I see little sparkles in my vision and they are getting more frequent.

I also read somewhere that MRI's are the best for diagnostics of brain problems and CT's can miss things like tumours, especially in the brain stem. I panicked, and got a MRI booked privately. I asked for dye to be inserted, but they assured me that if they found anything suspicious, I would retake the test with dye. but alas, it came back clear, but somehow I feel like I've gotten nowhere, as the symptoms are still progressing.

Doctors now think I'm crazy and have referred me to psychology, who is telling me about breathing exercises and ways to stop panic attacks, but what I'm experiencing isn't panic attacks, it's constant! it's affecting my thinking and my daily activities to the point where I can't actually do them. it's impossible! I'm all jittery and jerky all the time now, with my muscles constantly twitching and still getting worse, burning pains in my head and cheeks. I also notice I'm making weird facial movements when I move my face, such as when I speak, my jaw will go up only on one side, leaving my left side to drop and makes my face look weird when I talk. also, whenever I move my muscles or put strain on them, they will go into a twitching fit.

My cognitive skills have gotten to the stage where they are unmanageable. I have difficulty reading things with more than three sentences of text. I will lose track and stop reading because I won't know what I've just read. my speech is terrible, stuttering and saying things that don't make sense. my typing has gotten worse, losing track on what I was typing and forgetting simple words to mention in context with what I'm talking about. my neck feels stiff and is hurting alot. my tingling sensations in my fingers and arms, cold prickly sensations in my elbows, lips, face, ears. also a tingling sensation in my head! it feels very strange! also, my head hurts nearly all the time now and I just can't think of anything, my mind is just fuzzy and achey and it feels like I'm a husk. only being conscious and not having anything else that would make me human. no emotion, no intelligence, nothing, I feel brain-dead.

I know there's something wrong, and I am willing to pay for any more diagnostics to be conducted, so long as they find what's causing this and get it treated so I can get some form of symptom relief and my brain functioning back to the way it was. I am willing to get an EEG and an MRA or MRI Neurography done to find out what's happening, maybe even an EMG. I just need some answers.

I have been on more antidepressants than I can think of, such as citalopram, amitriptyline, Mirtazapine etc all of which have been no help to my symptoms.I figure had it been stress, it should've responded to medication and forms of counselling by now. but it has not had any effect at all! in fact, it's still getting worse!

Any supportive answers or any suggestions on what I should do? anything would help right now. I just want symptom relief, I can't take this anymore

Symptoms are as follows:-

- Muscle jerking and twitching. can be my whole body or just a involuntary jerk of a limb, such as my leg or arm.
- Cognitive impairment (reading, writing, speech, memory, language, word-finding and understanding of context.)
- A feeling of not being all there most of the time.
- weird cold tingling in my elbows and lips and ears.
- Sharp Headaches that come and go
- Unsteady gait
- Muscle cramps

Doctors all say its stress but if it had been then it should have responded to medication by now, or at least helped with the symptoms.

Last edited by mod85; 09-05-2012 at 04:36 PM.

 
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Old 09-02-2012, 02:59 AM   #2
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Re: neurological symptoms, had a CT and MRI without contrast, was clear so what is it

Hi, Patrick. I have no idea what's happening with you. But I certainly believe that you are not making this up. And, from my own experience, doctors are so quick to tell you your symptoms are just stress or depression, especially when the tests won't back you up.

The first thing I would suggest is that you find another neurologist if possible. Ask for the tests to be repeated, with contrast this time. And, even if they come back "normal," it does not mean there's nothing wrong with you. Not everything shows up as a positive on a CT or MRI. Keep pushing.

Also, since your doctor wants you to seek psychological counseling, agree to do so. But tell him you only want to see and be evaluated by a neuropsychologist. This is the person who has the credentials to interview and evaluate, and determine real symptoms from what the doctor thinks you are imagining. He will put you through a lengthy evaluation based on your reported symptoms. With all the different approaches he takes, it's next to impossible to fake anything. So if his final report says your symptoms are real, they're real. He can hopefully help put a name to your problem or at least head you to the right doctors for a proper diagnosis. Having his report will only add credence to what you've already been telling everyone. If your doctor won't set you up with a neuropsychologist, do a search and make your own appointment.

I give you this advise because, after a moderate traumatic brain injury two years ago, I continued to complain of dizziness, vertigo, double vision, depression, migraines, short term memory loss, mood swings, etc. But, because my CT and MRI both came back normal, the neurologist chalked everything up to depression and eye problems having nothing to do with my head injury. A speech therapist, who was helping me work on my memory issues, immediately guessed that I was suffering from post-concussion syndrome -- a very real condition that cannot be seen on CT and MRI results. She suggested I see a neuropsychologist. He ran a long series of auditory, visual and memory related tests and quickly confirmed the diagnosis. Without his report, I don't know where I'd be at this point. So it's a least worth a shot.

I hope this has helped a little. Please keep us up on how you are making out. Best wishes.

 
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Old 09-02-2012, 07:46 PM   #3
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Re: neurological symptoms, had a CT and MRI without contrast, was clear so what is it

Quote:
Originally Posted by AuntNanc View Post
Hi, Patrick. I have no idea what's happening with you. But I certainly believe that you are not making this up. And, from my own experience, doctors are so quick to tell you your symptoms are just stress or depression, especially when the tests won't back you up.

The first thing I would suggest is that you find another neurologist if possible. Ask for the tests to be repeated, with contrast this time. And, even if they come back "normal," it does not mean there's nothing wrong with you. Not everything shows up as a positive on a CT or MRI. Keep pushing.

Also, since your doctor wants you to seek psychological counseling, agree to do so. But tell him you only want to see and be evaluated by a neuropsychologist. This is the person who has the credentials to interview and evaluate, and determine real symptoms from what the doctor thinks you are imagining. He will put you through a lengthy evaluation based on your reported symptoms. With all the different approaches he takes, it's next to impossible to fake anything. So if his final report says your symptoms are real, they're real. He can hopefully help put a name to your problem or at least head you to the right doctors for a proper diagnosis. Having his report will only add credence to what you've already been telling everyone. If your doctor won't set you up with a neuropsychologist, do a search and make your own appointment.

I give you this advise because, after a moderate traumatic brain injury two years ago, I continued to complain of dizziness, vertigo, double vision, depression, migraines, short term memory loss, mood swings, etc. But, because my CT and MRI both came back normal, the neurologist chalked everything up to depression and eye problems having nothing to do with my head injury. A speech therapist, who was helping me work on my memory issues, immediately guessed that I was suffering from post-concussion syndrome -- a very real condition that cannot be seen on CT and MRI results. She suggested I see a neuropsychologist. He ran a long series of auditory, visual and memory related tests and quickly confirmed the diagnosis. Without his report, I don't know where I'd be at this point. So it's a least worth a shot.

I hope this has helped a little. Please keep us up on how you are making out. Best wishes.

Hey, thanks for the response, yes, this has helped me quite abit, its always nice for people to support my decisions of getting this investigated further, and that my symptoms are very real and deserve further investigation.

Right now, I am having trouble spelling simple words and using words in sentences. sometimes I'll say words in sentences the wrong way around and end up not making sense. and I had difficulty spelling the word replying yesterday. which really worried me, as I am usually great at spelling.

I have to go to a psychologist every week and listen to her tell me it's all in my head and putting it in a manner that the symptoms are manageable. they are really not. I can't read properly, I can't speak properly without stuttering or not making sense, I'm getting blotches and bruises all over my skin, my twitches are getting worse everyday. my cognitive abilities are degenerating rapidly. and it's torture. doctors ignoring you and telling you it's nothing whilst you watch your own body and brain fade away.

I am tempted to go private when my student loan comes in and get properly evaluated by a neurologist instead of the one I saw at the NHS looking me over vaguely and saying I'm fine. ridiculous services these doctors provide. they are going to find something wrong and be like 'oh, sorry' and apologise when that blunder might be costing me my life. ridiculous.

I have difficulty performing basic functions. my legs feel heavy and tired and tingle whenever I use them. my facial nerves keep twitching and making my face look weird when I smile. I'll jump and jerk in my sleep at night and during the day now. I KNOW there's something wrong with me neurologically. I'm even starting to wonder if they could've missed a tumour on an MRI scan without contrast, however, they said that if it was big enough to cause symptoms, they would've seen it. and apparently the place I went to (private of course, NHS would've taken months to get me scanned.) had alot of experience, 20 years of practice, so that was reassuring I suppose.

However, there is something going on and I need I reckon, an EEG (to find the cause of the twitches.) an MRI neuro to see what the condition of my nerves in my head are and maybe get to the bottom of my cognitive degeneration. and maybe an MRA if all the previous tests come back negative.

God knows how much all of this is going to cost me, but if they find out what's wrong and get it treated before it's 'too late' then it'll be worth it in the long run.

Last edited by eviltuna; 09-02-2012 at 07:47 PM.

 
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Old 09-02-2012, 08:23 PM   #4
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Re: neurological symptoms, had a CT and MRI without contrast, was clear so what is it

Agreed. And I get so tired of having to research my own symptoms before every appointment to be sure the proper efforts are being made on my behalf and nothing is being ignored. It didn't used to be that way. Make sure you point out to your doctor that, while a number of your symptoms can in some instances be attributed to great stress, it's pretty hard to manufacture bruising in your mind. Hang in there and best wishes to you.

 
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Old 09-02-2012, 08:38 PM   #5
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Re: neurological symptoms, had a CT and MRI without contrast, was clear so what is it

Quote:
Originally Posted by AuntNanc View Post
Agreed. And I get so tired of having to research my own symptoms before every appointment to be sure the proper efforts are being made on my behalf and nothing is being ignored. It didn't used to be that way. Make sure you point out to your doctor that, while a number of your symptoms can in some instances be attributed to great stress, it's pretty hard to manufacture bruising in your mind. Hang in there and best wishes to you.
I have pointed out the bruising to my psychologist and they've said it was because I must've knocked myself unintentionally without realising. these bruises appear overnight whilst I'm asleep or can manifest during the day, and these bruises can be big blotchy and purple or bright red and have what looks like blood streaks coming out of them.

I've considered it might be a vitamin deficiency so I've started on multivitamins, been taking them for about 2 weeks now and have seen no improvements in the symptoms. I am also on antidepressants and again, seen no improvements after about a month of taking them.

Like I said, I go back to university on the 17th September. if I can get this sorted out as quickly as possible and get whatever is going on diagnosed and treated, then maybe I can regain my old mental functions or salvage most of what I had.

 
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Old 09-02-2012, 10:51 PM   #6
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Re: neurological symptoms, had a CT and MRI without contrast, was clear so what is it

Just a thought. Have you read all the info on the new antidepressant as well as anything you can find on interactions they may be having with the vitamin supplements and any existing meds you are already taking? For example, introducing vitamin K when one is taking an anticoagulant or aspirin, could account for sudden bruising. Certain antidepressants / antipsychotics in combination with meds given for conditions like Parkinsons can cause muscle twitching, balance issues and mood changes. Often doctors don't think to look for these interactions. So if you're seeing an increase in any of your symptoms since starting new meds or supplements, you might want to check with your pharmacist or do a search on line just to make sure medications aren't adding to the problem.

 
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Old 09-03-2012, 02:04 AM   #7
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Re: neurological symptoms, had a CT and MRI without contrast, was clear so what is it

Quote:
Originally Posted by AuntNanc View Post
Just a thought. Have you read all the info on the new antidepressant as well as anything you can find on interactions they may be having with the vitamin supplements and any existing meds you are already taking? For example, introducing vitamin K when one is taking an anticoagulant or aspirin, could account for sudden bruising. Certain antidepressants / antipsychotics in combination with meds given for conditions like Parkinsons can cause muscle twitching, balance issues and mood changes. Often doctors don't think to look for these interactions. So if you're seeing an increase in any of your symptoms since starting new meds or supplements, you might want to check with your pharmacist or do a search on line just to make sure medications aren't adding to the problem.
Yeah I've made sure it isn't the meds. I've been taking the antidepressants for a month, but the problem started two months ago. including the bruising. so that wouldn't be the cause.

 
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Old 09-05-2012, 10:30 AM   #8
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Re: neurological symptoms, had a CT and MRI without contrast, was clear so what is it

My whole body is twitching almost all the time now. and it's increasingly hard to do simple things such as read and write and even talk. my lips can't stay still, my arm muscles keep jumping and its really frustrating that none of the doctors are listening to me as they are outright convinced that it's health anxiety. when it's NOT.

It's ridiculous how I'm having to PAY for any kinds of tests to be carried out. this is like some kind of sick torture.

My symptoms are now:-

Migraine-like headaches, sharp and very uncomfortable.

difficulty spelling, talking, reading, writing, focusing, finding the right words for any occasion.

Muscle jerks and twitches becoming increasingly more frequent. almost to a point where there isn't ever a muscle on my body not jerking at any time. there's always jerks somewhere.

Loss of appetite and ability to keep down food.

Strange hot sensations in my back and chest.

hot sensations on the top of my head, like a warm zap sensation. also, tingling in my head can occur.

feeling sick

a general decrease in awareness and intelligence


Right now it feels like my brain is rotting away, and I'm going to become a vegetable. everyday is agony, and aren't doctors supposed to help me?! but they are telling me to sit and watch my body just deteriorate! I am at breaking point. I cannot take this anymore. I will do just about ANYTHING to get this found and treated so I can gain some kind of normality in my brain function. and further tests is going to cost me hundreds of pounds to even get considered. any other route will just hold their hand up and say 'health anxiety, go away'

I feel like crying.

Last edited by eviltuna; 09-05-2012 at 10:31 AM.

 
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Old 09-05-2012, 01:39 PM   #9
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Re: neurological symptoms, had a CT and MRI without contrast, was clear so what is it

Wish I could give you some answers. I do know that the more stressed you get over all this, the worse your symptoms are likely to become. I agree that it's not fair to have to pay out of pocket for more tests. I, for one, could not begin to afford that. Am guessing you're not from the US. So I don't know what your healthcare system permits. Here, I would be tempted to take my symptoms to a hospital ER. I'm not sure I would even mention my previous tests and diagnoses. At the very least, the MRI and CT would likely be reordered, hopefully done with contrast this time and would be read by someone different. Just a thought.

 
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Old 09-09-2012, 08:30 AM   #10
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Re: neurological symptoms, had a CT and MRI without contrast, was clear so what is it

Hey, just an update. I have now begun to feel sick and am getting congestion in my head, like a migraine kind of pain, and some cases of severe nausea, also, I have noticed that on the back of my head, I have a solid bony lump, it is uncomfortable to touch and makes a noise when I rub it. like I can move it around and it makes a kind of cracking noise. I noticed the lump a while ago, but it was smaller and softer. now it's gotten larger and harder.

Scared is an understatement. would the MRI have picked up something on the back of my skull that shouldn't be there? or should I get this looked into too?

Here is a full list of symptoms I am experiencing at this current moment:-

1. Clicking and painful joints.
2. Migraines and bad headaches
3. Twitching muscles, some severe, some small fasciculations of the skin.
4. Feeling sick, sometimes so bad, that it feels like I could vomit.
5. A pointy bony lump on the back of my head that wasn't there a few weeks/a month ago.
6. Cognitive impairment (difficulty reading, writing, speaking, understanding.)
7. Taste/smell disturbances
8. Ringing ears.
9. Visual disturbances (losing focus on things for a brief moment, occasions of double vision(?) )
10. Sweating.

I thought that an MRI would've picked up any problems! I was promised by my doctor that this MRI would've picked up a tumour, but it seems to me like whatever's going on has spread to my bones and caused this lump to show up.

 
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Old 09-24-2012, 08:08 PM   #11
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Re: neurological symptoms, had a CT and MRI without contrast, was clear so what is it

eviltuna
if you have had CT scan and MRI done and both were clear, it is a pretty definitive sign that you don't have a tumor. As I said in the other topic, look up TMJD. Unfortunately, I know for sure WHAT it can do to people. Look up my posts if you have time or desire. It can produce literally all the symptoms you mentioned, and can be pretty darn uncomfortable. Good thing it is not life threatening, although one does feel like it is. I feel for you. Please kepp us updated.

 
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Old 09-29-2012, 09:40 PM   #12
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Re: neurological symptoms, had a CT and MRI without contrast, was clear so what is it

Well, I don't know what else could cause lumps to appear in two places at once. AND as well as a lump appearing on my chest (just on top of the manubrium) I have had an ongoing cough that's been really bad, and is now entering the third week with no sign of getting better. as well as the cough, I am also getting a tight chest, difficulty breathing on occasions and wheezing.

AND there's all the neurological symptoms that are there, that apparently I have to sit and deal with :/

Seriously, if this turns out to be something serious, the amount of doctors I've been to, I probably would've sorted it by now if they'd listened to me, but thanks to them not listening, it might have permanent consequences on my health. which is exactly what I need right now.

Last edited by eviltuna; 09-29-2012 at 09:56 PM.

 
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