Can I pick your brains for 5 or 10 mins please?

Hi there

Suspect you’ve read similar hundreds of times before so thank you in advance for looking! Am a 33 year old male, my older sister (39) has RRMS and has shown symptoms for about the last 9 years, and had MS confirmed, i think about 6 years ago. Over the last few years I am seeing symptoms in myself that i see in her and have basically done nothing about it except stucking my head firmly in the sand. Unfortunalty am again having what I now describe as a “bad time” so I’ve finally made a GP’s appointment and am going on Tuesday. the below text is my brain dump that i intend to show GP and am basically wondering what you think? Does this match for MS or in your opinion, have I spent best part of the last 3 or 4 years worrying about MS when its potentially something totally different? Id be very interested to know if anyone out there has similar and had a different diagnosis?

"Generally tired. No noticeable sleep problems. Takes up to an hour to properly come round. Normal times, fine till tea time then drop. Bad times, function till mid morning to lunch time. (since keeping records - bad sept/oct last year, march / april this year and now - started beginning nov) then crash, head fuzzy/foggy, really struggle to communicate, can’t concentrate - attempt to read something but don’t absorb it or just struggle to make sense of what’s there. First time really noticed significant drop in jan 2011 on training course, never struggled before educationally, work wise also, tasks I always found easy now seem to take a lot more effort & time. Resorted to doing more complex, involved tasks in morning then easier (lower brain power stuff!) in the afternoon, (concerned about work longer term, am struggling more and worried its showing in terms of performance). Mind blanks / struggle with recall, I know that I know something but it’s gone, also happens with talking, i forget words or use wrong word, when really really tired have noticed I can sound intoxicated or slur or what comes out people struggle to understand. Balance issues, not dizzy, but stand up or move too fast I pitch/lurch. Worse when tired (don’t actually fall over though.)

Related? Forgetful, both longer and shorter term - thought pops, say check bank balance, in the few seconds it takes me to pick up iPad I’ve forgotten what I wanted it for, happening more frequently, longer term, in meetings ect, if I don’t make detailed notes I quickly forget what’s been agreed/requested. Also happens with direct requests - manager asks me to find or do something, following morning I remember that I have to do something specific but totally blank on what it is and have to ask, hence concerned work may be noticing a dip / drop in performance.

Scatter brained, because am forgetting stuff, later if i do remember when am doing something else, thought pops back into my head, I then rush to make a note before I forget again and end up forget what I was doing in the first place."

Sorry if thats a bit long!

Rgds D.

Hello and welcome to the site

My gut feeling is that you are more likely to have a vitamin deficiency than MS from what you’ve said, e.g. B12 deficiency causes extreme fatigue as well as memory and other cognitive problems (and other things). If it were MS, you would almost certainly be having other symptoms (unless you’ve not listed them here?) and while fatigue is very common in MS, cognitive problems are rarely the main presenting symptom.

So my recommendation would be to put MS firmly out of your mind for now, get yourself a thorough battery of blood tests (including things like vitamins B12 and thyroid which can cause fatigue) and decide on next steps once you get the results. Hopefully the answer will be clear from these, but if not, then your GP should be happy to refer you on for a more extensive investigation by a specialist.

Good luck :slight_smile:

Karen x

What you wrote would fit Parkinsons Disease better than MS - and at your age that is statistically a very low probability.

I would go along with Karen that a vitamin deficiency is much more likely.

What you should so is to take all the points that you wrote in your “brain dump”, turn them into a list, sort them into the order that has the thing that worries you most at the top of the list, and do it before you see your GP. Take two copies with you:

  • the first one is to remind you of all your symptoms.
  • the second you can leave with the GP if asked for.

If you get referred to a specialist, do the same thing again.

Just don’t hand the list over at the beginning - you want their attention on you, and not on a sheet of paper.

Geoff