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Brain "Spells"

  Since last March ('97), I have been experiencing spells where all of a sudden I have a jarring sensation in my brain.  Like when someone suddenly pushes you from behind only my body doesn't move - just my brain.  This is followed by extreme vertigo.  Sometimes I feel very lathargic afterwards and get a dull headache.  These "episodes" vary in strength,  from what I would consider "severe" jarring sensations and intense vertigo to a slight sensation that I would most closely describe as being like an electrical surge with less vertigo.  If the episode is intense the vertigo can last up to 20 minutes, with the vertigo lessening in intensity as time passes.  When the episodes are less intense, the whole episode with the vertigo can pass in 5 to 10 minutes.
  I have seen both my Physician as well as a Neurologist.  I have had blood work,  EEG, EKG, Sonogram on Arteries in my neck, 24 hour Holter Monitor, CT Scan with and without contrast, balancing tests as well as a complete workup by an Optometrist with Visual Fields.  All the test came back normal.  My blood pressure and heart rate is a little low, but the Dr. said it's not dangerously low and is actually what they would consider a "good" pressure.  Usually runs around 107/63 to 110/70.  The Neurologist said he was stumped and perhaps what was happening was my pressure suddenly dropped lower than where it normally is then suddenly jumps back up to where it needs to be causing the blood to rush to my brain.  My Physician and the OD both looked at me like I was crazy when I told them that.  An Ophamologist suggested they may be Petit Mal Seizures.  I have never had an MRI.  I took away the feeling from the Neurologist that if all the other tests did not "show" anything that a MRI would be a waste of time.
  I'm not writing you for a diagnosis I know that is not possible for you.  I just want to know if you have ever heard of these type of symptoms before in someone who is supposed to be relatively healthy?  I am really at my wits end.  They come on completely without warning.  Sometimes I'm afraid to go out in public, drive my kids, it's hard to concentrate on my work if I've had one at work - worrying that I'm going to have another one.  I can be stressed, having a great time, talking on the phone, reading, watching T.V., anything.  There is no common denominator linking these "episodes" and I can have one today and not have another one for three weeks, then all of a sudden have one or two a day for several days in a row, all in varying strength and duration.  
  Do you know of any tests that I haven't had?  Any information you may have would be most helpful.  Surely I am not the only person in the history of the world this has happened to.
Dear Lena:
Your symptoms strongly suggest the possibility of intermittent vertigo (you state this yourself). This symptom usually is a marker of inner ear disease, and less commonly of a disease of the 8th cranial nerve or of the brainstem. I do not think they are related to a seizure problem, or to a drop in blood pressure. Your problem, if mild, can be easily missed by a neurologist on routine examination, and even on the tests that you have already undergone. I recommend that you consult a neuro-otologist of repute in an major academic neurology department near you. It is possible that you may need sn MRI to look at the 8th nerve and at the brainstem, which are not well visualised on CT scans. In addition, you may require some highly specialised tests of vestibular function for diagnosis, if clinical examination by a neuro-otologist does not suffice.
Good luck!

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