Clinical Presentation: Case History # 1

Ms. C is a 35 year old white female. She came to Neurology Clinic for evaluation of her long-term neurologic complaints. The patient relates that for many years she had noticed some significant changes in neurologic functions, particularly heat intolerance precipitating a stumbling gait and a tendency to fall. Her visual acuity also seemed to change periodically during several years. Two months ago the patient was working very hard and was under a lot of stress. She got sick with a flu and her neurologic condition worsened. At that time, she could not hold objects in her hands, had significant tremors and severe exhaustion. She also had several bad falls. Since that time she had noticed arthralgia on the right and subsequently on the left side of her body. Then, the patient abruptly developed a right hemisensory deficit after several days of work. The MRI scan was performed at that time and revealed a multifocal white matter disease - areas of increased T2 signal in both cerebral hemispheres. Spinal tap was also done which revealed the presence of oligoclonal bands in CSF. Visual evoked response testing was abnormal with slowed conduction in optic nerves.

   (Q.1)    (Q. 2)    (Q.3)

Today, the patient has multiple problems related to her disease: she remains weak and numb on the right side; she has impaired urinary bladder function which requires multiple voids in the mornings, and nocturia times 3. She became incontinent and now has to wear a pad during the day.  (Q.4)   She also has persistent balance problems with some sensation of spinning, and she is extremely fatigued.

REVIEW OF SYSTEMS is also significant for a number of problems related to her suspected MS. The patient has a tendency to aspirate liquids and also solids.    (Q.5)   (Q.6) She complains of tinnitus which is continuous and associated with hearing loss, more prominent on the left. She has decreased finger dexterity and weakness of the hands bilaterally. She also complains of impaired short-term memory and irritability.

FAMILY HISTORY is significant for high blood pressure, cancer and heart disease in the immediate family.

PERSONAL HISTORY is significant for mumps and chicken pox as a child, and anemia and allergies with hives later in life. She also had a tubal ligation.

Cranial Nerve II - disks are sharp and of normal color. Funduscopic examination is normal.
Cranial Nerves III, IV, VI - no extraocular motor palsy or difficulties with smooth pursuit or saccades are seen. Remainder of the cranial nerve exam is normal except for decreased hearing on the left, and numbness in the right face, which extends down into the entire right side. The Weber test reveals greater conductance to the right. Rinne's test reveals air greater than bone bilaterally.   (Q.7) The palate elevates well. Swallow appears to be intact. Tongue movements are slowed, but tongue power appears to be intact.

Motor examination reveals relatively normal strength in the upper extremities throughout. However, rapid alternating movements are decreased in both upper extremities and the patient has dysdiadochokinesia in the left hand.   (Q.8) Mild paraparesis is noted in both legs without severe spasticity.

Deep tendon reflexes are +2 and symmetrical in the arms, +3 at the ankles and at the knees. Bilateral extensor toe sign are present.

Sensory exam reveals paresthesia on the right to touch and decreased pin sensation on the right diffusely. The patient has mild vibratory sense loss in the distal lower extremities.

Romberg's is negative.   (Q.9) Tandem gait is mildly unstable. Ambulation index is 7.0 seconds for 25 feet. (The patient takes 7.0 seconds to walk 25 feet.)

Diagnosis: Multiple Sclerosis with laboratory support.