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Dr. Rick, MD
Dr. Rick, MD, Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 10553
Experience:  20+ years as a doctor. Internal Medicine Internship in NYC
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My dad is 64 and a few months ago he noticed weakness in his

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My dad is 64 and a few months ago he noticed weakness in his hand and arm, he could not hold a drill over his head (and he has always worked outdoors and has always had an extremely tight, muscular physique), shortly after we noticed wasting in his arms (both sides) and he noticed it in his thighs as well. In just 3 months time, those muscles in his arms now have floppy skin, and in the last month it has progressed to his chest as well and he suddenly looks like an old man where before he seemed like a bodybuilder! He started with a neurosurgeon who did find spine problems (bulging discs) etc, but after a few tests he told him he did not need surgery, that he had a "disease". He was then referred to a neurologist and has had an EEG, another MRI, a brain scan, and a spinal tap. That doctor just called and referred him to a "muscle specialist" and said "if it is what we think it is, he needs to start treatment immediately" I've done my share of research, so I'm prepared, but I just want an idea of what it "could be". It will be another month before he sees the muscle specialist. He has also lost about 30lbs in the last year including 7 lbs over the last week. Also, possibliy of interest, the neurologist put on his report that he had a "total absence of reflexes"
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

He has high blood pressure and high cholesterol and previously had a mild heart attack. He takes 2 medications, one for cholesterol and one for blood pressure, no other medical problems


It could be any number of things and, I have to admit, that I am disappointed that the Neurologist did not tell your father what types of diseases he is considering at this point.

What could it be? From what you have posted the most likely one is Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The other possibilities that come to mind are very unlikely given the data you have provided....

Here is a very good website from a highly reliable source that reviews this disease in detail:

Does this make sense to you?

I hope this information was helpful for you. But I do work for tips so I want to make sure you are happy with me before rating me. If you have another question on this or a related issue feel free to fire away. You may also receive an email survey after our chat, if you don’t feel that I have earned a “10” rating in all areas, please let me know what I can do to meet your expectations.

Thanks in advance,

Dr. Rick MD FACS
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Unfortunately you just confirmed what I suspected this is. Thank you for your honesty and professionalism.


I'm glad I could be of help. I wish your father the very best.

If it is any consolation, I have a very good friend who is still alive and spending time on the computer (with a special widget) and he has been "end stage ALS" (per his doctors) for 11 years now and is still going strong....

It's safe for you to press the positive feedback button now if you so desire. And, never fear, even after you press that button I don't go up in a puff of smoke -- I'll still be right here to continue helping you, but, as I do work for tips, I want to make sure you are happy before rating me.
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