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Might have an answer...
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Might have an answer...

I have posted a time or two on this forum trying to find answers to my non specific dizziness for the past 22 mos. I had a spinal tap on Monday and received a positive West Nile Virus (WNV) IGG result on Wed evening after my Neuro called. As I have mentioned before, I was hospitalized in 2003 with an "unknown virus" for 5 nights with a trunkal rash, high fever, headaches and vomiting. I now have confirmation that that episode was WNV.  I experienced muscle twitches and spasms immediately after my hospitilization and sought the care of a neurologist. He did a brain MRI and found numerous tiny non specific white spots T2 flair hyperintensity. He figured these were due to my "virus" and were most likely a one time event vs an ongoing condition such as MS or ALS. He has monitored me on and off since 03. I was fine with no complications other than the occasional twitch or wormy sensations in my legs until after I had my 2nd child in May of 08. Directly after my c section I noticed I was slightly tipsy/dizzy/lightheaded & had a tiny bit of blurred vision under flourescent lighting or when I look at lights/moon/etc etc I noticed a halo. My eyes seem to have trouble dilating properly. I have been that way for 22 mos. I have since had my 3rd child and after the birth of my daughter on 1/12/10 I have noticed tingling/sticky/numb feeling around my mouth, cold sensations that come and go on my chin, sticky/numb feeling around left eye, and now just last night noticed the dry mouth with a feeling of the back of my throat being slightly swollen or that "burned by coffee" feeling. The numbness on my face led my Neuro to try another round of MRIs on my brain, neck and spine plus a LP which I had never done previously. And, bingo... WNV came up. I have since done my research and discovered many folks out there experience these neurological deficits.

Other tests were ran and indicate I don't have a current inflammatory process going on:

Protein CSF - 39                        Range: 15-40 Normal
Glucose CSF - 56                       Range: 40-70 Normal
RBC - 0
WBC - 1                                     Range: 0-5 Normal
Cryptococcal Antigen                   negative
VDRL                                         Non reactive
Oligoclonal Bands                       Negative
WNV IGG                                   POSITIVE
WNV IGM                                   Negative
IgG CSF 2.86                              Range: .48 - 5.86
Albumin  CSF 22.4                       Range: 13.8-24.6      
IgG Serum 1010                           Range: 751-1560
Albumin Serum 4210                    Range: 3660-5100
IgG Index  .53                              Range: .28-.66
IgG Synthesis 0                           Range: 0-8.0
Albumin Index 5.3                         Range: 0-9
IgG/Albumin Ratio  .13                  Range: .09-.25                          

Please provide any insight into treatment options and if anyone out there has a similar story... do you recover?  I am hopeful my recent symptoms will resolve once I am not sleep deprived and my pregnancy hormones subside. I'm wondering if stress and/or recent pregnancy is my trigger for bringing out these new neuro symptoms. I also believe the Lumbar Puncture (LP) might have aggravated my condition as well.

I am seeking the help of my Neuro and trying to get in with a Rheumy and Infect Dis Specialist as well. In addition, I plan to do acupuncture and seek the guidance of a Naturapath/Homeopath. I am determined to beat this and recover so I can raise my beautiful family. I have a 4 1/2 year old son, 22 mo and 10 week old daughters plus a wonderful husband. They deserve a Mom/Wife who is healthy and strong! Right now I feel constantly hungover, tired and full of anxiety b/c of my bizarre symptoms.

Any help or direction you could provide would be GREATLY APPRECIATED!

Thank you,

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I work with someone who got westnile and was off work for nearly a year because of it.  She ended up with encephalitis (sp?)  and some lasting cognitive problems.  She is a senior crown attorney here.  She eventually came back to work but works from home a lot etc.  This is a major health condition. I would make sure to be referre to an infectious disease dr.
I'm definitely going to consult with an ID and Rheum Specialist. I wish I could find a center who specializes in West Nile complications. Do you know if she was able to recover any of the functions she lost? I am hoping the stress from 2 pregnancies back to back has pushed my body to the edge and some of these neuro probs have appeared. Going to try a specialized diet, rest, water, exercise, acupuncture and supplements. I was fine for years until I had my 2nd child in 08 and I haven't been the same since. Hoping if I get back to "normal" my body will recover back to where it was previous to pregnancies. I know what damage was done is done, but I believe these new symptoms might subside if I live a more stress free life! Anyone out there with success stories or hope for me :)
Wow, West Nile is a powerful cause of encephalitis and can have significant lasting damage.  If the infection was 6 or 7 years ago, you have healed all you will likely do, but the brain can sometimes be trained "around" the areas of damage.

However, any symptoms that have occurred since then I do not think can be blamed on WNV.  That is a good question for the Infectious Disease Specialist.  Does WNV relapse?

That is what really concerns me. My Neurologist believes my hospitilization back in 2003 and subsequent abnormal MRI & little neuro twitches and spasms is explained. But he stated that my labs showed IGG antibodies my IGM were negative. Therefore, it is an old virus and can't hurt me now (similar to finding chicken pox when you had it as a child). I'm hoping it is due to
stress from pregnancy bringing out old problems that will resolve once I am back to baseline (more rest, get rid of preg hormones, etc etc). All my other labs have been normal so far. Proteins,
Glucose, Albumin, etc etc. My WBC, RBC, etc etc. Therefore my Neuro doesn't think anything else is going on. I have been told ID specialists only diagnose West Nile. They don't really follow after the initial illness. I still plan to see one and try to get help and answers but I'm a bit concerned. Also I want to see a Rheumy in case I am having an autoimmune response. Since these new symptoms happen after childbirth. Don't know! Wonder if having an epidural and releasing West Nile IgG throughout my body might cause more problems. seems unlikely b/c they are old antibodies. Scrambling trying to find answers. I really want to put a stop to any new damage but again, praying it's stress that's bringing out some old issues that my youngerhealtheirr body could compensate for back after my illness and now that I am sleep deprived and stressed from 2 back 2 back pregnancies they are coming out. Ever hear of autoimmune condition after
west nile? Any treatment suggestions for dizZiness?  
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