How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dr. Bob Your Own Question

Dr. Bob
Dr. Bob, Neurologist (MD)
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 5276
Experience:  Neurology & Int Medicine (US Trained): 20 yrs experience
61817858
Type Your Neurology Question Here...
Dr. Bob is online now

Hello, I am very worried about my 20 yr old son who in the

Resolved Question:

Hello, I am very worried about my 20 yr old son who in the last six months has developed a strange condition which I think is seizures but we are not sure. He experiences a twinge in the neck and then full body paralysis where he loses motor control and can fall down or off a chair if he is seated. We do not understand the cause and the seizure can last from 10 minutes to an hour. During the seizure he is totally unable to move, drools from the mouth, but is fully conscious and can see and hear, but cannot speak. He can blank, and he can breathe. The episodes seem to be getting more frequent and today he reported that he had trouble breathing - he was sitting up when it happened and I was next to him and noticed his breathing sounded slightly laboured or deep - like a deeply asleep person. This time his eyes were half-closed and rolling slightly. It is very distressing for us to not yet know the cause or what we might do or whether there will be any treatment. He has had an MRI scan (all clear) and an EEG where they found ''short paroxysms of anterior slow waves", and now we will have a sleep deprived EEG next - that is in 2 weeks. I am very worried about him, please help. Thank you. Miriam (Mum).
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Neurology
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 2 years ago.
Dr. Bob :

Hi Mariam. I would suggest you videotape these events and take the images to a neurologist. This would be most helpful and might help you get a diagnosis sooner.

Dr. Bob :

Does this make sense?

Customer:

Yes this makes sense. I wanted to know if you think these episodes might be related to epilepsy or narcolepsy or something else: we have seen videos of cataplexy and this is what it most resembles.

Dr. Bob :

Yes. Could be cataplexy, but does not sound like narcolepsy because he remains alert.

Dr. Bob :

Does he remember everything after a spell?

Customer:

Thank you. But can cataplexy be present without narcolepsy? - I thought they were connected. It is true that he remains alert through out these episodes, so it does not look like narcolepsy at all.

Dr. Bob :

With cataplexy, it occurs rapidly, usually during times of emotional stimulation and the person recovers almost immediately.

Dr. Bob :

Cataplexy may be the first symptom of narcolepsy.

Customer:

No it is not an instant response to emotion: these episodes occur a short time (up to 10 mins or even more) after some stress or frustration or anger, and my son is then paralysed for a good few minutes or even an hour, so it is not always clear what the trigger has been at all. He can begin to come out of the seizure and then it recurs and lasts another half hour. At other times it s very minor. It is very unpredictable! Do you think this could be cataplexy in that case, or perhaps some different condition that is less well-known?

Dr. Bob :

The diagnosis can be difficult to pin down right away. He is a"good" age for new onset narcolepsy/cataplexy but a seizure disorder needs to be ruled out first.

Customer:

What other seizure disorders are there that it could be I wonder? I have not heard of any others. It does not look like epilepsy as the paralysis seems to be the only symptom?

Customer:

Yes he seems to remember everything quite clearly, although today's spell he was a little more confused and his eyes had closed.

Dr. Bob :

I would suggest you get a polysomnogram (sleep study) and a multiple sleep latency test (MSLT). He might also need a lumbar puncture.

Customer:

Ok thank you. I expect those are the things that they might investigate next but I know this is speculation because obviously I am keen to know what it might be, so would you have any idea what sort of condition they would be looking for/expecting to find? At the moment it does not seem to fit any particular category - or perhaps something like new onset narcolepsy is slow or gradual to develop, like in this case? Can it be a gradual onset? He has never fallen suddenly asleep yet, like I have seen in Narcolepsy.

Dr. Bob :

Yes, I would suspect this is the initial stage of narcolepsy.

Customer:

That is very helpful, thank you. It helps to have an idea about what it MIGHT be, so we can prepare ourselves. And also eliminates fear of the unknown! Thank you for your time I appreciate it.

Dr. Bob :

You're welcome. Hope all works out for your son. He is lucky to have you on his side.

Customer:

Thank you, ***** ***** out.

Dr. Bob :

Roger that. :-)

Dr. Bob :

Any other questions at this time?

Dr. Bob, Neurologist (MD)
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 5276
Experience: Neurology & Int Medicine (US Trained): 20 yrs experience
Dr. Bob and other Neurology Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 2 years ago.
Our chat has ended, but you can still continue to ask me questions here until you are satisfied with your answer. Come back to this page to view our conversation and any other new information.

What happens now?

If you haven’t already done so, please rate your answer above. Or, you can reply to me using the box below.

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I feel so much better today, and upon further investigation believe that there is a chance that the responses I got saved me FROM a serious, even life threatening situation. I am very grateful to the experts who answered me. Susan O.
< Previous | Next >
  • I feel so much better today, and upon further investigation believe that there is a chance that the responses I got saved me FROM a serious, even life threatening situation. I am very grateful to the experts who answered me. Susan O.
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. F

    Dr. F

    Board Certified MD

    Satisfied Customers:

    266
    Neurosurgeon with more than 20 years experience in practice and teaching.
< Previous | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.co.uk/uploads/BrainLifeDoc/2010-10-04_004701_AMF_2008_2_pix.jpg Dr. F's Avatar

    Dr. F

    Board Certified MD

    Satisfied Customers:

    266
    Neurosurgeon with more than 20 years experience in practice and teaching.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.co.uk/uploads/TO/TOHfan1/2012-3-3_11610_strokedoc.64x64.jpg Stroke Doc's Avatar

    Stroke Doc

    Board Certified Physician

    Satisfied Customers:

    41
    I am board-certified in Neurology and the subspecialty Vascular Neurology.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.co.uk/uploads/PR/pradocs/2012-7-23_23649_201272323220JApicture105x113.64x64.jpg Dr. Bob's Avatar

    Dr. Bob

    Neurologist (MD)

    Satisfied Customers:

    1501
    Neurology & Int Medicine (US Trained): 20 yrs experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.co.uk/uploads/HE/healthydoc/2011-7-22_193154_LevGrinman2.64x64.jpg healthydoc's Avatar

    healthydoc

    Board Certified Physician

    Satisfied Customers:

    325
    Board Certified U.S. Neurologist
  • /img/opt/shirt.png RH's Avatar

    RH

    Board Certified Neurologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1944
    Expert in various areas of Neurology
  • /img/opt/shirt.png Brainmaster's Avatar

    Brainmaster

    Board Certified MD

    Satisfied Customers:

    58
    ABPN certified. 6 years of outpatient general neurology practice experience. No malpractice cases
  • /img/opt/shirt.png braindr11's Avatar

    braindr11

    Board Certified Physician

    Satisfied Customers:

    43
    Neurologist with outstanding expertise