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BEDHEAD 09-19-2001 03:53 PM

Numbness in fingers
I was wondering what could cause numbness in hands? My brother has these symptoms, and was tested for carpal tunnel but it was negative, now the neurologist wants him to have an MRI. What would cause this? Please help thankyou

siouxzee 09-19-2001 09:11 PM

You don't say how old your brother is or if he's just getting this in one hand. Does he have any other symptoms. Did it just start up one day all of the sudden or come on slowly. Does he have tingling or other sensations also. In general terms, numbness can be caused by:

1)local injury to the nerves under the skin
2)lack of blood supply to the area
3)pressure on the nerves, caused by a herniated disk, tumors, abscesses or arthritic bones
4)toxic action on nerves (lead, alcohol, tobacco)
5)diabetes and other chemical abnormalities
6)vitamin B-12 deficiency
8)carpal tunnel syndrome
9)drugs such as chemotherapeutic agents, chloroquine, D-penicillamine, isoniazid, nitrofurantoin, parenteral gold therapy and phenytoin
10)long-term radiation
11)transient ischemic attack (TIA)
13)multiple sclerosis (a less common cause of numbness)

Of course some of these things might not apply depending on if its effecting one or both hands.

BEDHEAD 09-20-2001 02:34 AM

Siouxzee Thankyou very much for taking time to help us, My brother is 34, the numbness started about 4 months ago and he says it comes and goes, can be in both hands and he says its only in the fingers, and it feels like when your hand falls asleep (tingling) A few years ago he had a fall from about 15 ft which broke his sholder and i was thinking perhaps that may have something to do with it. He also gets leg pains and has had back problems for a few years prior to the fall. In a few weeks he goes for an MRI, Him and His wife are so afraid that something might seriously be wrong with his brain. Anyhow I sure do appreciate you taking the time to help. Thankyou!

siouxzee 09-20-2001 01:46 PM

Good that he's getting an MRI. That should help in the diagnosos. I doubt the shoulder injury had anything to do with it but you mentioned that he's had back trouble. Taking a guess, I'd say the first choice would be his back. Maybe a herniated disc. Many times herniated disks will go away all on their own in a year or so, so that would actually be a good thing. He may have did something more to it the fall that he took. It could also be something really easy (easy as in better than your back) like hypothyroidism. The MRI will rule out things like a tumor and also diagnose a back problem so he's right where he should be. It is a fairly daunting task to diagnose a numbness problem so he may need more tests also. Good luck and try not to worry, tumors or anything life threatening is a very very rare thing. :)

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