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Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Message Board

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Board Index

Could it be als?
Feb 12, 2007

I have some symptoms that are scaring the hell out of me. Let me state from the beginning that I have a neurological disorder (cerebral palsy), and that it certainly makes sense that this disorder is the logical place to start investigating the symptom that concerns me the most - muscle atrophy. Let me also state that no one has indicated that I might have ALS - I've had a fear of the disease for at least 8 years now. I also know that muscle atrophy is common with cerebral palsy, but I am full ambulatory, and muscle atrophy with CP (to my knowledge) occurs mostly with those who are absolutely ridgid with spasticity.

Over the past year I've had some significant weight loss - about 45 pounds. That puts me within my height weight ratio. Part of that loss, unfortunately, incudes the loss of muscle. Most of the lost muscle is in my legs, where my spasticity (from the CP) is the worst. It is most noticabe in my knees. The loss is enough where it has started to affect my gait more than the CP has. There is a general weakness in my left knee that wasn't there before.

So I have the beginnings of the muscle weakness, plus muscle atrophy, that are some of the symptoms of ALS. I have muscle cramps and twitching. But I also have some symptoms that don't seem to fit a diagnosis of ALS (from what I hav read - I certainly could be wrong). They include a "burning" sensation in my legs (and just my legs), as well as times when my muscles *literally* feel "high." (No other or better way to describe it.)

I also am on Wellbutrin (which can cause weight loss) and an anti epilectic drug. Here's my "bottom line" deal: if this is just something that comes with my existing neurological disorder, or is due to medication, and it is something that can be mitigated with strengthening exercises (or medication changes), then I can live with that. If it's something life threatening, then obviously that's a different story.

Oh, I am relatively young (mid 30's) and have had dramatic weakness in my arms (including my writing arm). But that weakness can come and go. Sometimes I can have a huge swing in muscle weakness in my arms. I can tighten all of my leg muscles to a great extent.

Sorry for the lengthy post. The one thing that I can't ignore here, and that is real, is the muscle loss. I made an appointment to see the Neuro that treats me later this week. What are the pertinent questions (other than a recital of my symptoms) that I can ask my Neuro, so I can make the best use of my appointment?


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