Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Help! Mystery CNS disorder

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 0 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • July 17, 2009
  • 06:05 PM

I would appreciate anyone's help on this (and I know it's not caused by cell phone towers, so just save me and yourself the trouble... :-)
My father-in-law who was an outdoorsman and world-class athlete remained physically fit even at the age of 65, as he would carry one of his many large canoes to the river, and row miles of demanding waterways every single day. Suddenly two years ago, he began stooping over, which for a man of his physical ability was alarming. Next, he began dropping weight rapidly. The next thing I noticed was that his left leg became "uncooperative", and he would literally have to pick it up sometimes to move it. He could not control his leg. His gait became very wide and unsteady. He next began having cognitive defects, and would forget things. His speech became impaired, and he could not remember the last word of any sentence. He became anxious and somewhat depressed due to the lifestyle change. His impairments all got much worse. Two years after his daily canoeing adventures, he is emaciated (lost at least 40 pounds without trying to do so), has incredible spasticty in legs and arms, cannot walk, huge tremors in his legs, his legs draw up and the left leg continuously crosses over the right when he is lying down--he cannot control the movements. He cannot tell time, write, or even feed himself now. He has mental confusion often. He is nearly incontinent. He seems to not realize his own impairment. My father-in-law has had all kinds of tests for brain function, and the diagnosis of Alzheimer's seems "not quite right" to anyone who sees him, including doctors. A recent diagnosis of encephalopathy has me confused, particularly considering the same doctor asserted two weeks ago that he did not have encephalopathy. Not one physician has been able to diagnose this strange, rapid onset of illness and pathology with any degree of certainty. He's had so many medications, I can barely keep it straight. We are exhausted, but very involved in his daily care. The family wants desperately to understand the beast we are battling, so we know what to expect, and if there is any treatment for him. I feel as though we and the medical profession have failed him, since we can't figure this out. Any thoughts from a movement specialist or neurologist out there? We haven't given up, yet, and so I turn to this forum, seeking help and guidance.

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