Hi - my mom is 58 years old. History includes heavy smoking. In the last couple of years we have noticed that she has become increasingly "jerky" in her movements. She is also slow to react and what we call "fally downy" (never falls just tips and catches herself - I do this too alittle at 36 yrs.) We are concerned because her mother (my grandmother) died before being diagnosed with anything but was "drunk" like in her movements and getting very ornary. (She died of a stroke at 84 years.) My mom is hesitant to go for testing (getting ornary too.) My sister said there is a blood test that can test for cerebellum degenerative diseases. Is this true? Perhaps we could talk mom into this - she won't go for MRI. Please advise. Are these problems hereditary? Anything I can do for myself as I age?
I certainly think that your mother needs to be assessed, not necesarily by means of an MRI at this stage but blood testing for degenerative disorders and MRI might ultimately be appropriate.
There is a wide reange of degenerative disorders which should be considered, but more importantly the possibility of non-progressive treatable disorders should be conisdered.
It would be a tragedy to miss something treatable like thyroid dsisease simply because eveyone presumed that this was degenerative in nature.
For this reason your first step needs to be a detailed history and physical examination by a neurologist, and subsequent testing based on the outcome of this assessment. It is too early in the process to start jumping at specific diagnostic tests without first having an expert look at the big picture.
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