Atrophy Concern

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Atrophy Concern

Postby cclose on July 30th, 2012, 4:13 pm

I''ve now had twitches in my left thigh for about 6 months now, more or less all the time. I've been to a neuro and the EMG was not normal and his view is that ALS is very unlikely.

I'm OK with that but I am concerned that there is atrophy in the right thigh as in my perception it has less bulk than the right. I appreciate that there is not necessarily complete symmetry between the left and right parts of the body so the difference may not be significant. I don't know what the comparison would have been like before this started. On my last visit to him he said there was a difference and sent me for an MRI scan.

I'm going to see him tomorrow to discuss the results but he has already stated that th MRI results are normal. He further says that an MRI scan is "sensitive" to atrophy. I'm not sure what he means by that. I'm taking it to mean that atrophy would sometimes show up but not in all cases.

Does anyone know what an MRI scan is able to tell a neuro. Also is atrophy necessarily an indication of ALS. Given that I've had these symptoms about 6 months now and have no sign of weakness I'm assuming that ALS is unlikely.

The only real problem I have, other than the twitches, is muscle soreness. The pain is not a problem while exercising but usually occurs a day or 2 after.
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Re: Atrophy Concern

Postby mwagner on July 30th, 2012, 6:21 pm

If he's saying an MRI is sensitive to atrophy, he means it will catch atrophy. Nothing in medicine is 100%, but if he's saying it's "sensitive" to it - he means that it will catch it. You're going to get good news.

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Re: Atrophy Concern

Postby wjjw on July 31st, 2012, 1:48 pm

My left calf and thigh muscles are noticeably smaller than the right. Of course, I only noticed after 6 months of twitching when looking closely at my left leg, which was twitching way more than the right. Now 7 years later both have gained a bit from exercise. Left ones still skinnier though...

Cheers,
Bill
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Re: Atrophy Concern

Postby korikos on July 31st, 2012, 5:31 pm

Hello CC

Was your EMG normal or not??? So if it was abnormal, what was the abnormality??
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Re: Atrophy Concern

Postby jerry2 on August 1st, 2012, 12:51 am

Well, for what is worth, neuro told me I have atrophy in the left hand, the intrinsic muscles are so more smaller. This made me worse I guess for this 10 months. What he called atrophy is something I had 2 years ago at least, luckily I found some old picture.
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Re: Atrophy Concern

Postby cclose on August 16th, 2012, 4:27 pm

High wjw do you mean that you had noticable atrophy after the twitching or are you like me and don't know if you legs were symetrical before the twitching.

Re EMG I asked neuro what the abnormalities are and he says the tests show fasciculations. Given that I have fasciculations does that count as a significant abnormality?

Re MND, but for worry that I may have suffered some atrophy since the twitches, I would regard it as very unlikely. It is a minor concern rather than a major worry.

Sorry to be slow getting back but I've been on holiday.

Thanks for the replies.
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Re: Atrophy Concern

Postby mwagner on August 16th, 2012, 4:58 pm

The majority of us had fasciculations on our EMGs. After all we fasciculate, so it's not to be unexpected. Some people haven't had any on their EMGs. But, this was of zero concern to my doctor. Fasciculations doesn't spell anything sinister.

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Re: Atrophy Concern

Postby Mike101 on August 17th, 2012, 4:51 am

My doctor said the same as mwagner´s. I have also been concerned about fasics on emg, but my neuro not even a little bit. I read that a lot of people would have them on emg even those that don´t have bfs. I think that about the half of the people on this site had them on emg..
They can show up if your anxiety is high, when you hyperventilate and when your muscles get tensed up and so on... They can also show up if the neuro hurts something with the needle. Sportspeople tend to have fasics on emg too, i think most of the time in the calves. They don´t look for this on emg because it´s too common.
I hope this answers your questions.

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Re: Atrophy Concern

Postby wjjw on August 17th, 2012, 6:17 am

cclose wrote:High wjw do you mean that you had noticable atrophy after the twitching or are you like me and don't know if you legs were symetrical before the twitching.

It is not atrophy, just an asymmetry. I only noticed it after I started examining my leg when it was twitching more than the other.

Cheers,
Bill
A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, of the manifestations of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty, which are only accessible to our reason in their most elementary forms--Albert Einstein
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Re: Atrophy Concern

Postby SuziQ on September 7th, 2012, 7:03 am

Did he MRI your leg, or your spine? MRI's are more "sensitive" to soft tissue structures than plain X-rays, so I reckon that is what your physician was indicating.

And no, atrophy isn't only indicative of **S, if it even IS true "atrophy." As others have said, we all have glaring irregularities and asymmetry from one side of the body to the other. The human body is a quirky, wonky thing. :) The sort of atrophy that is seen in a progressive NMD such as **S is not something you would even question on a message board. **S isn't subtle. It leaves its calling card; which is immediate and significant clinical weakness.

Blessings,
Sue
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