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Babinski's Reflex - Could you have a positive test and yet have no...
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Babinski's Reflex - Could you have a positive test and yet have nothing wrong?

I am posting this question on behalf of my wife.   She is 51 years of age.   She recently had her Babinski's reflex tested and it was positive (meaning that her reflex wasn't normal).   A few years ago, she lost vision in one eye and it was diagnosed as retrobulbar optic neuritis.   We understand that both could be indicative of MS, or of other neurological disorders including ALS.

My wife is a worrier and doesn't want to undergo any further testing or even discuss this with her doctor.   We are wondering if it is possible for her to have had these results and yet not to have MLS, ALS, or anything else serious wrong with her.
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1858011_tn?1319840953
Hello,  I'm not able to answer this question for you but, I think that you can have this with nothing seriously wrong.  I hope your wife gets better soon.  This is a great community with very educated people who would be more than glad to help you with this question.
  
I'm sure they will give you great info. Take care and I wish you all the best.

  Misty
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi Rod,

From speaking to people with ALS or their caretakers, ALS does not hinder your eye sight.  I'm sure it's possible to have an abnormal reflex and have nothing seriously wrong.  Your wife should have an mri of the brain and spine to get a better picture though.

I wish you both the best!  
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429700_tn?1308011423
I think a positive babinksy reflex does mean that there's something going on.  I would encourage your wife to get further testing, if she's experiencing other problems.   Drugs for MS could delay or even possibly prevent serious disability in the future.  The great majority of people with MS do not wind up in a wheelchair--especially with treatment.  
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1896537_tn?1381903609
Hi, I've just read your post and as the others say, I think your wife would really have to get an mri and possibly a lumbar puncture in order to get the complete picture. I'm 34 years old and had severe optic neuritis in my right eye last October. I had a positive mri, positive LP, and also have Babinski's Sign. All of those things mean my doctor's suspect MS and I'm currently in a flare with (milder) optic neuritis in my left eye. My neurologist says Babinski's is rarely seen in people with nothing wrong. It's usually a sign of damage to the central nervous system. That doesn't necessarily only mean MS but certainly something is going on. I sympathise with your wife being a worrier but sometimes the 'not knowing' is worse than the reality. I hope this helps. Oh one other question, did your wife have other symptoms at the time of losing her eyesight? Things such as numbness or tingling? All the best to you both, Zoe
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks, everyone, for your input.

I think my wife will still opt not to pursue this further with testing, etc.   It's just the way she deals with things.   I am hoping that there is some sort of minor damage to her central nervous system but not MS or ALS or anything else serious.   If she has further symptoms in future I will encourage her more strongly to pursue it.

Zoe, she didn't have any other symptoms when she had the eyesight loss.
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429700_tn?1308011423
Does she have any other symptoms now besides eyesight problems?

If this is the first MS-like attack, they may be able to prevent severe disability associated with MS with early treatment.  

http://www.webmd.com/multiple-sclerosis/news/20070601/super-early-ms-treatment-best

It doesn't sound like ALS (lower neuron disease).  Optic neuritis is associated with demyelinating diseases such as MS (upper neuron disease--brain, spinal cord, optic nerve).

MS isn't always all that devastating--especially with early treatment.  Most people with MS live a normal life span without the use of a wheelchair.  It could be that your wife doesn't have MS at all, too.  There could be something more serious that could have devastating effects if not treated.  I'm probably preaching to the choir, here.  I'm sure you're feeling the same way . . .  Of course, it could be something less serious--but either way not treating it could mean years of misery instead of fixing the problem to begin with.

My best,
Debbie
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1936411_tn?1333835449
As an outsider to your situation, I agree with Debbie that the best thing your wife can do to ensure her overall long-term health is to have this looked into. Many healthcare issues are best handled with early treatment. On the other hand, I totally respect your wife's right to make her own decisions regarding healthcare.

This must be hard for you to deal with as her husband. I'm engaged, and I know my search for answers and diagnosis were as difficult for my fiance as they were for me. It' nice that you came here looking for answers for her, and I wish you both the best, whether she decides to undergo further testing or not.

- Jane
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