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  • My mother, 85, with balance problems - not dizziness

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    Old 04-26-2010, 06:17 AM   #1
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    My mother, 85, with balance problems - not dizziness

    Can anyone help as I want to help my Mum.

    She's 85 and has been having balance problems for a number of years now, though it has got gradually worse. Her legs feel like jelly and feel separate from her brain and she feels she's going to fall over every time she stands up. She doesn't get any dizziness at all, just problems with her balance. I've written this in the "ear, nose throat" section too as balance problems sometimes get written in that section too. However, my mother thinks its all to do with her brain so wanted to write this in here too.

    My Mum has had an MRI scan and been to the ENT section, also the balance section at the York hospital, but they just put it all down to her age and say they cannot help her any more. She is very young for her age, feels 24, but only when she stands up does she realise something is wrong. She can't walk straight, has to use a walking stick also, and she feels her brain is telling her legs something different and she feels she is going to fall over all the time. I feel so bad for her and want to help her so much. She also dislocated and broke her ankle a few years ago which has never got back to its original shape which doesn't help. I worry all the time that she is going to fall and I just want to find something to make all this go away for her. I constantly look on the internet to try and find new things and I will not give up until I can find something that might help.

    She never gets dizzy, just has trouble with her balance, but this is making her so unhappy. Her balance problems started about 7 years ago, but has got gradually worse. There must be something out there that can help her and I hope somebody has some suggestions or some tablets/herbal remedies she might be able to take.

    She also worries about this all the time, from the minute she wakes up to the time she goes to bed and this can't be helping at all. The anxiety is really bad and she has no confidence at all. Her balance is worse when other people are present, as she feels everyone is watching her. Its a vicious circle as everyone is telling her to try not to get anxious all the time, but of course she gets anxious and its easy for people to say don't worry about it, but of course she does.

    Can anyone help, please?

    Last edited by annie6262; 04-26-2010 at 06:22 AM.

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    Old 04-26-2010, 09:51 AM   #2
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    Re: My mother, 85, with balance problems - not dizziness

    well, since she has seen an ENT and had an MRI and everything supposedly came up clear? esp within that cerebellum where our main area of whats called our proprioperception is governed, i would very highly suggest they look at her spinal with a full spinal contrasted MRI at the point. only becasue it is that cerebellum that governs this, but there IS one particular spinal tract lying within our cords that also is what brings the messages too and from the periphery and back that actually is what tells our legs what to do? and that little tract is called the spinocerebellar tract. i only know this becasue i too have lost my proprio becasue of a spinal cord surgery i had to have that damaged it? this does only impact my legs and nothing else i have been able to feel or know of yet. i do NOT have any dizzyness either, just my legs, esp when my eyes are closed, i simply do NOT even know where they are like just lying in bed, as long as my eyes are open, i can still kinda tell, but the very second i shut my eyes, i just have no clue where i left them. it IS insane to even feel this at all.

    our proprioperception is what actually allows us to even actually just 'know" where all of our body parts are actually even located in relation to space. i did not have a freaking clue that just knowing where my body areas were was created by an actual 'area" in our brains and spinal cords at all til my neurosurgeon told me i was going to probably lose this in my legs pre op. i had no real understanding of just what in gods name he was taliking about til it actually occured.

    if she is not having any real problems with actual dizzyness then that would seem to exclude her equalibrium within the ears, so, unless she possibly had like a mini stroke or TIA within only that cerebellum, or if they did not actually use any contrasting type of agent when they did that brain MRI, you may want to have that area possibly double checked, even with a CT since any level of real bleeds within the brain(esp a TIA that can be rather small) genrally would show up much more clearly than with an MRI in certain cases. then i would definitely have her full spinal from top to bottom just MRIed as well just to make certain she does not have some type of real abnormality within that spinal cord too? you just CAN be actually born with cewrtain little things actually IN the spinal cord that do not always show themselves til 'something' possibly triggers it? what i had in mine since birth and did not even know it til i had an MRI done for another reason was whats called a cavernous hemangioma(only one of several different types of vascular leasions one can actually have in their sp cords or even the brain too and we are just born with) that was IN my left side of my cord and it DID bleed at times which then would show neuro symptoms too. i was like 40 already when this just showed up on that scan, but i was NOT yet having any reals symptoms til later. SOOOO, these are the areas i would seriously ask he doc about just checking out right now and double check that cerebellum too. this just really does sound like a total loss of her proprio in her legs,VERY much so. i just KNOW what that feels like. how does she feel as far as the legs when her eyes are actually shut,esp lying down? does she simply completely lose any ability to really feel without moving the legs like exactly where they are other than knowing where she left them? if this occurs it seriously sounds like loss of proprio. so that would narrow down the possible area that this could be stemming from at least. the cerebellum and that tract too.

    i do hope this helped some. but she defintiely does need those particular tests right now if nothing more,just to see them and clear them? hopefully something will just show itself. how long ago was the previous MRIs done? let me know what you find out,K? marcia
    3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
    11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
    9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

    Old 04-26-2010, 04:44 PM   #3
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    Re: My mother, 85, with balance problems - not dizziness

    Has she been evaluated by a physical therapist? I'm wondering if maybe over the years she has deconditioned, meaning lost muscle strength to her legs. A PT would be able to evaluate her muscle strength and come up with an exercise program for her that might help.

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