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Dr. Frank
Dr. Frank, Board Certified Physician
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 9000
Experience:  Board certified general Adult Neurologist, with experience in experimental neuroimaging and neurodiagnostics.
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I've had a problem with my balance for the past 4 years.

Customer Question

I've had a problem with my balance for the past 4 years. I've had an exam by a neurologist and MRI of my brain was negative. I have started having problems with finding words and short term memory. I'm concerned something is going on. What do you think I should do? Any thoughts about what may be happening?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Neurology
Expert:  Dr. Frank replied 1 year ago.

Hello. Welcome to JA. Since you are in Massachusetts, you are near some of the best Neurologists in the world (MGH, mass. gen hospital) so I would suggest you take advantage of your location. Anyway, an MRI scan is really only good for anatomic lesions which are identifiable by changes in water density within tissue, so tumors, or strokes, or infections are all easily seen. Not so with neurodegenerative diseases like alzheimers, or Picks' disease or the parkinsonian plus syndromes of spinocerebellar degeneration, or MSA (multiple system atrophy) . Your problems suggest a possible neurodegenerative disorder. Your neurologist should have done more than just order an MRI, so he probably did a detailed Mental Status Examination, MMSE? and hopefully gave you an idea of what was your diagnosis? There are many diseases that can cause short term memory loss, word finding errors (anomic aphasia) and ataxia (problems with balance). There are more specific "functional" tests call PET (positron emission tomography) tests where you use selective tracers to identify an increase in amyloid protein, or problems of brain metabolism. These test can identify changes in the brain which can lead to a diagnosis. So what to do? I would suggest you see a behavioral neurologist for a cognitive evaluation, and maybe get a PET or SPECT scan, and neuropsychometric testing to identify what specific cognitive problems you have. You also may need a complete blood evaluation for cognitive loss. Please get back to me to discuss this further, or if satisfied, please remember to rate my service as that is how I am compensated for my work. Thanks *****

Expert:  Dr. Frank replied 1 year ago.

hello. please get back to me to discuss this further as I am sure I can help with your situation. Dr Frank

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