Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

I have TIA like symptoms, but no results.. please help

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 21 Replies
  • Posted By: Dimetriea
  • January 4, 2009
  • 11:25 PM

Over the last 2 years, I have been hospitalized twice for TIA-like symptoms. The first time, I was sitting at my computer, and I noticed one eye was really fuzzy. I rubbed my eye, trying to be able to see again, and within seconds, the left side of my body had gone numb. I was very scared. I felt my face with my right hand, and it was like someone had drawn a line down the center of my body, and had shut off one whole side of me. I also could not talk. When I got to the hospital, I tried to speak to the doctors to tell them what had happened to me, but I could not talk. I tried hard, and was finally able to stutter, but it took me about 2 minutes to try to get a whole sentence out. I could not focus mentally, could not talk, could not feel the left side of my body. They ran some tests checking blood and MRI. They could not find anything. About 2 hours after the onset of symptoms, the paralysis disappeared, and also the stuttering slowly got better over the next couple of hours. By the time 4 hours had passed, I was remarkably better. They sent me home, because they could not find anything to keep me with, but recommended I see a Neurologist.

I went and met with the Neurologist a few days later, but the only symptoms that I still had were weakness and numbness in my left side, along with the mental confusion. When I say mental confusion, I can not read very well, it takes me reading a page in a book over approximately 4 times, before moving on, because I no longer can comprehend as quickly. I also have problems with simple memory, such as if I am to go to an appointment next week, I can not remember the time without looking at it on my calendar almost everyday. I still have problems with speech, but only if I am trying to get many ideas out of my head at once (kinda like my brain is on overload and I can make it do more).

The Neurologist put me on a vaso-dialator, thinking that if it were a problem with blood flow to the small vessels in my brain, that it might help. It has done nothing to my symptoms.

2 months ago, I had another attack. I had all the same symptoms of a TIA again, and went to the hospital for a second time. The same tests were run and compared to the other tests. Within 4 hours, all the previous symptoms were gone, and I only had the weakness in the left side of my body and the mental problems again. They sent me home again, without finding anything wrong with me.

I am here searching for a possible answer, please help me someone. I used to be very bright, until all of this happened to me. I was an accountant until I could not do the math for my career anymore. Every day I struggle with the lack of mental focus and the memory loss. There has to be something that can be done.

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21 Replies:

  • Hi there.Could you provide some information about yourself (Age, m/f, brief med hist)? Do you have any risk factors for TIA or stroke? (high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, diabetes, previous heart attack, family history, recreational drug use, etc)Thanks.
    fewd4thought 126 Replies
    • January 5, 2009
    • 04:40 AM
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  • 32 yr old female, 180 lbs. doesn't smoke, doesn't drink.no prior history before last year of strokeshealthy for most of my life, have had back surgery.. for a busted L5 vertibreano family history of strokes, although diabetes is in the maternal grandmotherBP runs 120/60 on averageno drugs ever
    Dimetriea 7 Replies
    • January 5, 2009
    • 05:51 AM
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  • If you have residual symptoms,then you had a stroke,not a TIA.
    richard wayne2b 1232 Replies
    • January 5, 2009
    • 02:03 PM
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  • Has anyone looked for a brain aneurysm? Sorry to scare you.
    aquila 1263 Replies
    • January 5, 2009
    • 08:21 PM
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  • I have only had an MRI on my head.. so I guess no?
    Dimetriea 7 Replies
    • January 5, 2009
    • 08:31 PM
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  • While richard is correct that lasting deficits in a vascular territory would indicate a cerebrovascular accident and not a tia, there is no localization in the brain that would account for the symptoms that the OP reports. Additionally, there is no reason to think that a cva in this young women with no risk factors would have occured.
    fewd4thought 126 Replies
    • January 5, 2009
    • 10:57 PM
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  • (Of course, if someone can localize this to a vascular territory, please post, because I would love to see your explanation!)
    fewd4thought 126 Replies
    • January 5, 2009
    • 10:59 PM
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  • The range of symptoms would not be suggestive of small vessel disease. A TIA would not normally demonstrate the extent of residual symptoms being observed as well. I'd be interested in seeing a sleep-deprived EEG. The symptoms expressed by this young lady would be somewhat consistent with familial hemiplegic migraine and the age of onset would be about right. Point mutations in the CACNA1A and ATP1A2 genes would need to be present, however, and there should be at least some signs of family history with proximal features associated with migrainous syndrome. Realize that this is a migraine variant as well, so all the rules about characteristic prodrome and features of migrainous syndrome don't necessarily need to be present. Best regards, J Cottle, MD
    JCottleMD 580 Replies
    • January 6, 2009
    • 00:58 AM
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  • Hemiplegic migraine can also occur as a sporadic variant, I have seen this in one case (the only case I have seen), where it was not accompanied by an aura. Difficult and long process to diagnose.
    fewd4thought 126 Replies
    • January 6, 2009
    • 03:51 AM
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  • I have been reading about the different migraines you have written about, and I am not sure if these things help, but might be more information for you to help me. I have had headaches for a long time, starting when I hit my teens. Headaches so bad that I cant stand to look at light, and make me nauseous. I was prescribed amitriptyline when I was 22 for severe headaches and chronic anxiety. The doctor was trying to cure the anxiety, thinking that it was what lead to the chronic anxiety. I was also prescribed valuim for the anxiety. After 3 years, it didnt seem to affect the symptoms, so I just continue having the headaches almost daily. They range from mild achy headache to incompacitating. In both cases of my attacks, I have had a headache in the frontal lobe, extending to the temples of my head, but I didnt think it was information that would help solve the symptoms I am having now. After reading more about the Hemiplegic Migraines, it could be a possibility. I will make an appointment with the doctor to rule it out. If it is Hemipelgic Migraines, is there a possibility of recovery? or am I stuck this way?
    Dimetriea 7 Replies
    • January 6, 2009
    • 02:35 PM
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  • Do you take birth control pills?
    richard wayne2b 1232 Replies
    • January 6, 2009
    • 02:57 PM
    • 0
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  • No, hysterectomy last year.
    Dimetriea 7 Replies
    • January 6, 2009
    • 03:14 PM
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  • Too bad since BCP's can cause hemiplegic migraines.
    richard wayne2b 1232 Replies
    • January 6, 2009
    • 03:19 PM
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  • I've had the same symptoms as you had listed. However, I'm 22yrs old and have had the those symptoms since I was first in high school! I only get them a few times a year. After everytime I get one I write down info. like: time/date/ all symptoms listed. Its also very important to track what your eating. I would start a food diary. Also... do you work out? Thats very important to keep your blood flow and your heat pumping health. Make sure your drinking plenty of fluids. You may also want to think about taking Aspirin daily..which provides caffeine, and caffeine thins the blood flow. You you have several TIA's a year most likey you may have a stroke later on in life. Atleast, thats what i've been told. I wouldn't let it scare you though... I'm in your same shoes..and have choosen a different life style as far as eating right and working out.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 6, 2009
    • 04:09 PM
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  • Hello. I'm 22 yr old female. I've had the exact symptoms that you have stated. However, I've been getting TIA like symptoms since I was in high school. I've had several MRI's and blood work..nothing was found wrong. Do you work out at all? I've had to change my life style in order to prevent this 'occuring episode' from coming back. I would write down/keep track of all the food you are eating daily. After having a TIA... make sure you are keeping track of what time/date and how long it lasted for. Make sure your drinking plenty of water/liquids. I've heard that if one gets serveral TIA's a year your most likely to get a stroke later on in life..it sounds scary,but you can atleast 'try' and prevent it. You may want to think about taking aspirin daily. Since aspirin contains caffeine...caffeine thins the blood out, which causes the blood to flow normal. Since I've changed working out and eating healthy I haven't had an episode in about 4months. If your doctor is doing nothing for you, I would consider getting a second opinion from another doctor. Also- if you get an MRI...TIA's do not show up. The only reason why they test you for one is to see if you have a tumor in your brain or not. If this happens to keep going on, it is still important to have MRI's done.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 6, 2009
    • 04:34 PM
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  • I have made an appointment for the Neurologist for the 27th of this month. I am not feeling very confident about hospitals and doctors at the moment, because they do not seem to find the problem. But I need to keep trying to fix what is going on, so I broke down and made another appointment.Is there anything I should bring up to them when going? That possibly could persuade them to finding a cure?
    Dimetriea 7 Replies
    • January 6, 2009
    • 05:16 PM
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  • Dear Dr.Cottle:Enough of the false modesty!You are BRILLIANT,and you must know it.Who else would think of a familial hemiplegic migraine AND know the genes involved??What were you like at age 40 if you're this bright now?I've been around a lot of doctors,but I've never seen anyone like you.Come on now:confess that you know you're a top dog in medicine.
    richard wayne2b 1232 Replies
    • January 6, 2009
    • 09:20 PM
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  • Richard_Wayne2b, I can tell you with unswerving candor that I do not even remotely consider myself brilliant in any context. Medicine has been my life and one of great humility without exception. There is much indeed that I've yet to attain and will readily admit here that I've learned a trick or two from your own postings. Brilliance often shines as a mere consequence of timing rather than knowing. experientia docet. Best regards my friend, J Cottle, MD
    JCottleMD 580 Replies
    • January 6, 2009
    • 11:39 PM
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  • To Dimetriea, Well, let's not suggest that you're quite stuck at this point. There's some testing to be done in order to even determine if hemiplegic migraine is a qualifiable diagnosis. Once you've been evaluated and the test results are provided, please let us know and we'll do what we can to provide further consult if possible. Best regards, J Cottle, MD
    JCottleMD 580 Replies
    • January 6, 2009
    • 11:43 PM
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  • What would say if a 20 year old female was having the exact same symptoms??
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • February 21, 2011
    • 04:38 PM
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