ok i dont know what to think and would like some answers. 14 yrs ago I was 19 and had a child. when my child was a few months old i woke up in the wee morning just spinning like crazy. it woke me up. I couldn't sit, stand or function in anyway, I was taken to hospital where nothing was found to be the problem and referred to neurologist. From there I have had Mri's, Eeg's and other tests. I was told that I have symptoms of ms but i dont have ms. I have nystagmu or i think what it is called where my eyes constantly bob and i have a problem reading or watching things for long periods and get dizzy and neauseated. They have also told me that i have cerebullar atrophy or degeneration and that my cerebellum is the size of an 80 yr old alcoholic. Lately things have been getting worse most days my right leg hurts so much that i can hardly use it. My arms on ocassion have been very weak and heavy and unable to even lift a plastic cup. Or do my hair. Both of my legs on one ocassion about a month ago just didn't want to work so i pretty much sat on the couch the whole day and when I wanted to lift them on the couch I had to lift them with my hands. Is there something my doctor is not checking?
Thanks for using the forum. I am happy to address your questions, and my answer will be based on the information you provided here. Please make sure you recognize that this forum is for educational purposes only, and it does not substitute for a formal office visit with your doctor.
Without the ability to examine you and obtain a history, I can not tell you what the exact cause of your symptoms is. However I will try to provide you with some useful information.
I am not sure what to make of the atrophy of your cerebellum seen on imaging without being able to view your images and obtain a history. Cerebellar atrophy has many causes; as you mention, alcohol is one of them but there are many genetic and other disorders that lead to cerebellar atrophy. The most prominent symptom is usually gait unsteadiness; I am not sure what the exact nature of your dizziness is, but if it is a sense of imbalance, and difficulty with walking, this would potentially relate to the cerebellar atrophy. Cerebellar dysfunction also leads to nystagmus (specific eye movements that can lead to the perception of objects moving). If the cerebellum is definitively atrophied, causes are potentially multiple including as I mentioned include genetic causes, celiac disease, certain deficiencies (including vitamin E), and others.
It is hard to tie your arm and leg symptoms with your dizziness; cerebellar atrophy does not itself produce arm and leg weakness, unless there is a disorder involving the cerebellum as well as other areas of the brain or spinal cord. If the two (the cerebellum and limb weakness) were to be taken separately, difficulty with things such as doing hair suggests proximal weakness of the arms, as occurs with disorders of the muscles (as in myopathy) or some nerve disorders that predominantly affect the proximal nerves. It sounds like your weakness is intermittent (comes and goes) which is unusual, but this can occur in some nerve/muscle disorders like myasthenia gravis. To assess for a disorder of the nerves and muscles, a study called EMG/NCS, which tests how well nerves conduct electricity, and how the muscles respond, is indicated. With myopathy (a disorder of the muscle) there are sometimes elevations in a blood test called creatine kinase (CK).
Continued followup with your neurologist is recommended; if a cerebellar disorder is suspected by him/her based on specific examination findings and on imaging, evaluation by a movement disorders specialist (a neurologist with specialty training in movement disorders, which include disorders of the cerebellum) may be indicated. If a nerve/muscle disorder is suspected, evaluation by a neuromuscular specialist may be indicated.
Thank you for this opportunity to answer your questions, I hope you find the information I have provided useful, good luck.
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