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Bad balance, slurring words, concentration problems
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Bad balance, slurring words, concentration problems

I'm 52 yr old female, recently saw neurologist, he attributes symptoms to migraine & depression.  I don't feel depressed. Blood tests ok for thyroid, ESR. Could these symptoms be caused by depression?  8 mos ago awoke to my face swelled, itchy, eyelids extremely swelled, no pain, had trouble seeing as lids were so big, no headache. 3 mos ago awoke to migraine with aura, pain went down into cheeks.  Couldn't read, didn't recognize words, but could see words.  Couldn't remember family members or where I worked. Lasted 2 hrs, then I was fine. My other symptoms last for varying lengths of time, and occur more when I am tired. At times I feel & act fine. Symptoms: Very sleepy, fatigued, pain in left shoulder & neck, hoarse throat, blurry eyes,left side facial tics, laugh or cry for no apparent reason, jaw & cheeks sore, earache in left ear, headaches, tingling in head, legs, fingers, feet, pain in feet & legs, 5 drop attacks-legs gave out. Can't always move when I want to, like stuck.  Left leg won't always bend at knee, bad balance must hold on to walls, constipation,indecisive-about small things-what cup to use? Bones ache,left wrist pains, hold left arm in awkward positions, odd movements with left hand,(left thumb rubs second finger over & over, then wrist flops around, then arm moves in uncontrollable way) slurring words, voice low, feel as though in a fog, am aware of things, but sort of staring, confused, I present as an intoxicated person during these times, which occur when tired. Move slowly. Had MRI,if negative, would these symptoms be caused by depression? Thank you.
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Avatar_n_tn
I cannot give you a clinial diagnosis over the internet

Unless you have a previous histor of migraine when younger (like teens, twenties) then migraine is a diagnosis of exclusion - it is critical to exclude other causes of your symptoms

the left arm uncontrolled movements can be seen in problems involving the connection between the two cerebral hemispheres (the corpus callosum) - thereby movement on one side are not communicating with the othe side. This can occur with, for example, growths, tumors, inflammation or strokes in this area. These would be apparant by MRI. Another neurological disease called Corticobasalganglionic degeneration exhibits this symptom and can be associated with other symptoms such as cognitive impairment, motor planning/execution (being stuck), slurred speech. This is a clinical diagnosis and may not be apparent by MRI. The course is usually progressive rather than episodic as you describe somewhat - in this case, episodic disorder can be evaluatred by an EEG in case of a seizure disorder.

Neuropsychological testing may be useful to judge the extent of any cognitive involvement and assess for underlying depression - this is more sensitive than the routine neuro exam, and entails a series of tests and questions from a neuropsychologist.
The clinical diagnosis though is paramount in finding out what is the problem - hence my advice is limited
If you are in the area, the Neurology department at the Cleveland Clinic could help sort this out

8 Comments
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Avatar_f_tn
Dear Elly shad~

i am sorry you have such difficult symptoms, so much sounds more than familiar to me.
Through the last 5 years it has taken senev neurologists to where i finally have a diagnosis, actually two, and that was the trouble, they were looking for one, not two.
Had i listened to the first couple i went to i would be getting treated for a psychogenic issue that is NOT there.
Listen to your gut instinct and if it means seeing neuro after neuro, until you are satisfied with a dx don't stop looking.
The movement neuro i see said unless a doctor is trained to see some of these diseases they (radiologists included) can easily miss and sometimes even when they know what to look for they can miss it.
My ms docotor kept sending me to neuo after neuro (all sub specialists) and finaly after five years my scans(maybe have had a dozen) have eveoled to where the 'eveidence' finally has shown up. He said he even has a hard time seeing what my moevemnt doctors picked up and are trained to se... and these are ALL top in their fields. I am not saying that all that is going on with you is not depression since i am not a doctor, but from someoone who has been in your shoes, you know yourself.
Good luck Ellyshad and keep faith, i know how difficult it can be to not know what is happeneing to you.
Take care and best wishes....
AMO
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Avatar_n_tn
HI, I READ YOU LETTER, AND YOU HAVE SO MUCH THAT I DO.  THIS MAY HELP YOU, I DON'T KNOW, I JUST KNOW THAT IT HELPS ME, AND IT SEEMS TO BE THE SAME SYMPTOMS.   I HAVE ALWAYS HEARD THAT STARING ,ETC. IS A SMALL SEIZURE. THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT THERE IS A MED, THAT REALLY HELPS ME, AS FAR AS PAIN, NERVES, STARRING, ETC.  IT IS  NEURONTIN, OR GAPENBETIN, GENERIC.  IT IS VERY EXPENSIVE, BUT HELPS IF YOUR INSURANCE WILL PAY FOR IT.  THERE IS HELP THRU PHIZER, WHERE YOU CAN GET IT FREE AT YOU DR'S OFF ICE,  JUST CALL THE PHIZER COMPAANY IF YOU GET  A PRESCRIPTION AND HAVE HIM FILL OUT THE FORM AND YOU FILL IT OUT , MAIL IT IN AND PICK IT UP AND AT YOUR DR'S.  HOPE IT WILL HELP, I AM  NO DR . BUT YOU SOUND JUST AS I DO. AND IT HELPS ME.  ALSO, YOU MAY WANT TO TRY A PAIN MANAGEMENT DR.   THIS IS SUCH A BUMMER , BUT I AM BETTER WITH THE ABOVE, AND PAIN MANAGEMENT.  ANY QUESTIONS JUST LET ME KNOW I WILL BE CHECKING THIS FOR HELP MYSELF.  GOOD LUCK.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you so much to those who have replied to my original post. It is comforting to have had these responses. With so many different things going on at the same time, I was questioning myself......I'm still waiting for MRI results. My next step is to get an EEG. Thank you, and bless you. Elly
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear AMO,
I am going through many doctors who think I am imagining my simptoms severe  pain if under draft or aircond only on left side of head and ear-after an car accident. Since  Ct and MRI didnt show much-except twisted arteries in my brain and low laying brain that is congenital,I was born like that, I live a life in isolation becouse even car air condition bothers me .
Doctors do not have even Dx, I saw 2 neurologist ,ENT,
just give me anti seazure meds!!!
Please can you tell me about movement neurologist!! or spec name for that specialty.
As I understood finaly you got Dx like that?
Thanks ,
best luck
Ljilja
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Avatar_n_tn
Sounds like many of my symptoms. I was a teacher for 24 years. The last 4 years of my career were horrible due to many of the symptoms that you describe. I had hoarseness everyday which i attributed to too much talking. I had severe headaches around rt. eye and ear, pain at the base of my skull and into the muscles of my shoulder, sores in scalp and nose, sore tongue with burning sensations, fatique, flu symptoms (arose by wed. of every week and got progressively worse until the weekend when I would get to feeling better), chills, body and joint aches, low body temp. had trouble walking some days at school, just falling over with no control, felt as if I could not find the floor, concentration problems, motor control of hands was erratic, facial numbness, lips felt swollen and would peel, metallic taste in my mouth, left arm numbness, heaviness in my chest, heart palpitations, digestive disorders, hunger pains and stomach growling even if I had eaten 10 min ago, and last but not least odors from car exhaust, perfumes and cleaning products, laundry detergents, shampoos, deodorants, etc. were making me sick. My doctor put me through a kinds of tests and when I developed the reactions to chemical odors he sent me to an environmental specialist. I was having neurological problems but they were due to the poor indoor air quality in the school and mold in my room. I tested very reactive to several molds and I had severe yeast infections in my blood stream. We went through a yeast eradication and that helped the flu symptoms. However I had to retire early because when I am exposed to any chemical odors I have all the symptoms again. When I protect myself I have decent days but will probably never be the same. My family has been very supportive and we have all gone to fragrance free products. Sorry for the long post. Would be interested in hearing more from you and have seen several posts that may be related. Many of the things we use and are exposed to daily are neurotoxins and they accumulate and can cause many problems. Many doctors do not recognize this illness because it is so vaque and does not show up in normal routine scientific tests. But since finding out what was causing my problems and avoiding exposure I am much better. I still cannot be in the yard when my husband mows the yard and my children have been undressing and leaving their clothes on my porch for 5 years now as they carry home chemicals from their workplaces and school.
Would suggest that you visit the following websites  www.coem.com, www.ncchem.com,www.ourlittleplace.com or search "multiple chemical sensitivity" or "environmental illness". I think you will be surprised and enlightened by the info. Dr Rea in Texas is a specialist in the field. Hope you find this info helpful. I know if you have never heard of this it sounds "crazy"  because I still have trouble believing what has happened to me and if someone had told me 10 years ago that my lotion and laundry detergents were killing me I would have probablt=y laughed. Not any more.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi
I noticed You are 52 and laugh or cry for no apparent reason.
This may simple be the change.  May I suggest, that you talk with your mother or/older sister and note some of their difficulties during that time of life.  This may help narrow down your list.  
I have completed the Neuropsychological testing.  My work has the results.  There is no mental problems in my case. What a relief.  The results lifted my spirts.
Deware of depression, these problems we have tricks the mind.  I began read more in to what was realy happening. Fix one small problem move to the next. And do not try to changed what can not. The Doctors will help you in those areas.
Simply rember. The sky is blue; and even if it should rain. It does not stay that way for long.
Thank you for your comments.

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Avatar_n_tn
Hi
I noticed You are 52 and laugh or cry for no apparent reason.
This may simple be the change.  May I suggest, that you talk with your mother or/older sister and note some of their difficulties during that time of life.  This may help narrow down your list.  
I have completed the Neuropsychological testing.  My work has the results.  There is no mental problems in my case. What a relief.  The results lifted my spirts.
Deware of depression, these problems we have tricks the mind.  I began read more in to what was realy happening. Fix one small problem move to the next. And do not try to changed what can not. The Doctors will help you in those areas.
Simply rember. The sky is blue; and even if it should rain. It does not stay that way for long.
Thank you for your comments.

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