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Re: Undiagnosed Neuro problem-desperate for help

Posted By CCF Neurology MD:NT on October 10, 1998 at 00:52:13:

In Reply to: Re: Undiagnosed Neuro problem-desperate for help posted by Jeanne on October 09, 1998 at 22:54:37:

: : Dear Jeanne:
1.  One normal EEG does not rule out epilepsy. Your one-sided pain symptoms, however, do not fit with any of the many known forms of epilepsy.
The fact that you have had seizures in your earlier years, and even more recently, does show that you likely have a tendency to have seizures. This does not necessarily mean that your pain/weakness symptoms are necessarily related to the seizure problem.
2.  The history of prior alcohol and drug abuse opens up a whole set of diagnostic possibilities from a neurological and general medical standpoint.
3.  Your neurologist's description of your neurological examination implies an absence of diagnostically helpful or "localizing" physical signs on the examination.
Reply & Question:  1: Should I ask for another EEG to be done or some other test for the seizures? 2:  Should I have had or should I request any further testing of some sort?  Are you saying that even though I have not done/used drugs/alcohol in many years that this could be the culprit, is there some testing needing to be done regarding that?  Can you possibly recommend a Dr in the Northern Canada area, ie:  Terrace, Smithers, Prince Rupert, Etc.      Thank you again for your help.

Dear Jeanne:
I strongly recommend that you leave the questions of the necessity and appropriateness of tests to the discretion of the treating doctors you trust. The practice of a patient "asking" for tests can be hazardous and wasteful.
Remote alcohol/drug use can have caused permanent brain damage. Even remote IV drug use increases the chance of a patient having an uderlying previously silent infection such as HIV or hepatitis B/C, all of which can cause neurogical problems.
I do not know of reputed medical centers in northern Canada. There are world-class neurology departments in Montreal, Toronto, London, Vancouver, Ottawa.
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