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Conversion, Tourettes, or what?
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Conversion, Tourettes, or what?

In the spring my husband began having tremors, but on Memorial Day they exploded into full body seizure-like spasms. After an MRI, massive blood work, EKG, CT scan and EEG during one of these episodes, it was diagnosed as Conversion Disorder. He went to see a psychologist for therapy who now says he believes it is a physical problem. It reminds me of Tourettes and the neurologist has prescribed Clonodine. His symptoms begin with head bobbing (yes-yes), then move to violent no-no spasms. At times he gets severe facial grimacing, hand flapping and always accompanied by noise. Moans, yells, "ch-ch-ch" sounds. Sometimes he stutters. Sometimes it encompasses the entire right side of his body and his leg and arm shake violently. These whole things can be very violent. He has never lost consciousness, never lost control of bladder or bowels and is entirely aware of what is going on. It continues during sleep, as well.He also grits his teeth, talks in his sleep, and makes lip-snacking noises. I've asked him mother and she said she has no remembrance of any childhood tics that might suggest Tourettes. Since May this has been an almost daily thing that has led to him working half days, if at all. He has had some really "good" days, but even then he has the head bobbing. My husband is 50 years old, is retired Army. No blood pressure or heart problems. High cholesterol is about it. Over the past couple years some panic attacks. Mornings, just after getting up are bad. Going to bed and relaxing before sleep is bad. Any suggestions, please?
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125112_tn?1217277462
Not my area of understanding but from what I've read, does sound like Tourettes.

This has got to be terrible, for both you and him.
My only advice would be, is to seek out a top notch Neurologist.
In case you are interested: 2006 U.S. News best ranked hospitals for Neurology/Neurosurgery: http://www.usnews.com/usnews/health/best-hospitals/rankings/specihqneur.htm

Best to you and yours.
Sincerely,
~Kate
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I am not a doctor nor have I had this condition, but from what I have read, hasn't his health care provider prescribe medication like anticonvulsant drug to help prevent the seizures.  Seizure is a symptom associated with many diseases and conditions, including: head injury, brain injury at birth, brain infections such as meningitis or encephalitis brain tumor, stroke, drug intoxication, withdrawal from alcohol and drugs such as narcotics, cocaine, tranquilizers, and sleeping pills, and  metabolic imbalances, such as low blood sugar. Often the cause of seizures or the abnormal electrical signals in the brain is not known.

Sorry you both are going through this. It must be very scary for him and well as you.  I'd find another doctor and get some answers as well as treatment.

Good Luck!

GL
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Hi your husband has my greatest sympathy but conversion disorder dx are an easy route for neurologists to take some times when tests are normal. I have myoclonus and a gait disorder which started nearly 3 yrs ago. My whole body goes into rthymic spasms so when I stand I have violent jerks plus I have other symptoms.  Try and get another neuros opinion. I take clonidine which does stop the spasms . My neuro has ruled out conversion disorder but I did voluntarily see a psychoogist . She said I definately dont have conversion disorder. I have been told its a neurological disorder and that sometimes they can;t always put a name to things as the nervous system and brain is so complex. Good Luck I would see another neuro. Take Care Chris
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Thanks for the comments. I did forget to mention that he can "stifle" the outbreaks if absolutely necessary, but once they happen, they HAPPEN! He was also hit by a car at age 6 and was unconscious for several days with a basal skull fracture.  If our current neurologist has run out of ideas (we actually have had 3 opinions), he is going to try to get a referral to either the Mayo Clinic or Cleveland Clinic. Thanks again.
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Is it possible that your husband had a stroke, or head injury to bring this on? It is clearly neurological. You should have a new MRI done to compare with the first. There may very well be changes since may. None of the possibilities sound very nice, but it could be a brain tumor, or anuerism putting pressure on a physical control center in the brain. It would also be good to have a new EEG, and new bloodwork. Sometimes when serious neurological problems start, there are no signs on the tests until a comparison done a few months later. Even though I've never heard of adult onset Tourettes, you may get the Dr. to try him on some of the meds used for Tourettes to control his symptoms better. I would try to get some of the tests re-done first though, so the symptoms are still obvious enough to get the Dr.'s attention. Also, he should be able to get on long term disability once he gets a diagnosis if the symptoms can't be controlled. In the meantime, he should try to get on temporary disability.
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Ask your Neuro if he is familiar or can get info faxed to him
from the Cleveland Clinic. Back in 2001, a Dr. Erenberg in the
neuro dept. started up a special division study on Tourette's
& found a drug called Haloperidol (a dopamine D2 receptor)
showed great results. It was orig. used for schizo. problems
but adjusted dosage etc. was studied w/ Tourette's. I'm sure
His work was journaled & perhaps your MD could get a copy or
make contact of the final up to date results, since years have
passed. Cleveland would offer more help than Mayo w/ Tourette's.
I wish you both good luck.
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125112_tn?1217277462
I think you are the right track. As a sidenote, you can request copies of all his medical records (from his doctors office) to take along with you, if you think it'd be helpful.

Best of luck to you and yours, KYGirl!

~Kate

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