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Mich5 12-06-2007 03:43 AM

Went to neurologist and he wanted to rule out MS... now EMGs..
So I went to a neurologist, mainly for peace of mind, since I'm getting numbness and tingling sensations throughout my entire body, mostly my hands, arms, legs, and feet, and instantly he said given my young age, being female, he wanted to rule out MS since I fit every common category with this disease, along with my symptoms.

So he ordered endless bloodwork (15 tubes worth) along with an MRI of the brain and cervical spine.

The nurse called me yesterday and said my bloodwork was normal, the brain MRI was normal, and the cervical MRI, outside of having a slight bulge in the C6/C7, was entirely normal as well. Nurse said MS was entirely ruled out.

He now wants me to have an EMG for the numbness/tingling in one leg and one arm to rule out or rule in a neuropathy that could be taking place.

Anyone have this done? If so, what kinds of neuropathy are there? I have no clue what this is. I know diabetes was ruled out via bloodwork, I heard alcohol can cause a form of neuropathy, not possible for me since I don't drink alcohol. So if it is a form or neuropathy, ruling these two out combined with my normal bloodwork, I have no idea what type I could have and why.

If anyone has knowledge of neuropathy and this EMG testing, I'd love to be "schooled" on all of this.


Thelma-Louise 12-06-2007 12:30 PM

Re: Went to neurologist and he wanted to rule out MS... now EMGs..
I had the needle EMG done by a neurologist and to be quite honest it is painful (at least I thought so - I'll never do it again) - it left several muscles sore for a few days not to mention the test itself causes pain. Electrodes connected to a computer are attached to muscle groups throughout the body and then an electric stimuli with a needle attached is applied (stuck in) to the muscle group basically sending a slight shock into the muscles - the computer then measures the response time for the brain to react to the stimuli which is evidenced by the muscles contracting and/or jerking. Basically it is looking for a lack of or diminished response time to indicate neuropathy which is interference along the nerve sensory pathway either caused by some physical abnormality, injury to the nerve or degenerative disease. The only thing my EMG pointed out is that my muscles were highly sensitized (rapid responses) meaning they were over responding to the stimuli indicating stress throughout the central nervous system.

Although I too went down the neurological path when my symptoms started 4 yrs ago (mainly b/c my primary dr did not feel tmj could cause so much havoc) I did the EMG b/c my brain MRI indicated a high possibility of MS (10 brain focci or lesions) and it also is in my family. But I also seriously doubted I had MS b/c my symptoms were not those that my cousin who had it suffered with - she never had severe pain throughout her body but basically just lost control of her body functions - balance, coordination, shaky vision, slurred speech, etc.

I don't want to talk you out of having the test since most of us have to rule out all other medical possibilities just on the outside chance that the myriad of obsurd yet frightening symptoms we have are not caused by some other serious illness - it can be hard to believe that tmj can so many widepsread symptoms, however, with that said you may want to look into a surface EMG. A surface EMG is one where instead of a needle being inserted to the muscle groups a hand held sensor much like a massager is rolled across muscle groups and also sends measurements to a computer. Basically it measures stress within the central nervous system and can pin point what area it is stemming from. With me - since my tmj started on my left side - it basically showed all the vertebrae on the left side of the spine to be highly stressed mainly around the base of my neck and C 5,6 and 7 which were herniated at the time. But that is all it measures - so it does not really check for interference or neuropathy.

I really can't help you decide whether to have it done or not - although my gut told me my symptoms were related to what was going on with my jaw and neck - I still did every test my primary dr requested just to be on the safe side - to this day he still thinks I have some form of systemic brain infection or auto-immune disease/condition - eventually however I realized the medical field was not really able to help with this so I started focusing more on finding the right chiro and tmj dentist.

Hope that helps some.

Sarahlou 12-06-2007 12:31 PM

Re: Went to neurologist and he wanted to rule out MS... now EMGs..
Hi there Mich,

Thought i'd reply and try and help a little................

Brief history, woke up in April couldn't move neck, extreme pain.......June had to stop work as pain so intense! Saw Chrio's and Physio's and then ended up at a neuro! Pain was now going into my face, my ear, temple, left eye, cheek, jaw, just the most awful pain you could imagine! I couldn't do anything, I was also getting awful jerking in my legs. Neuro did lots of tests, Brain MRI's, Cervical MRI's, Lumbar Puncture, EMG, EEG...............Brain MRI was abnormal, came up with high signal changes, lumbar puncture showed signs of an imflammatory process going on...............So i've now been told i do have something going on with my central nervous system but who knows what, great huh.........there is a chance MS will be diagnosed in the future but it can take years so i'm trying to put it to the back of my head! I started to do some research myself in desperation and came up with TMJ disorder.........I'm now also seeing a maxilliofacial consultant with regards to this and am waiting to have a Jaw MRI.

Anyway the test you are having done is relatively painless!

For an EMG, a needle electrode is inserted through the skin into the muscle. The electrical activity detected by this electrode is displayed on an oscilloscope, and may be heard through a speaker.

After placement of the electrodes, you may be asked to contract the muscle (for example, by bending your arm). The presence, size, and shape of the wave form -- the action potential -- produced on the oscilloscope provide information about the ability of the muscle to respond when the nerves are stimulated.

EMG is most often used when people have symptoms of weakness and examination shows impaired muscle strength. It can help to differentiate primary muscle conditions from muscle weakness caused by neurologic disorders.

Try not to worry, i know that is easier said than done! I hope i've helped a little and i'm here if you fancy a chat or a moan!

Take good care


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