Finding it hard to get into a neurologist

Hello Everyone,
My name is Carol and I am from St. Louis, Missouri. Right in middle of country.
Everyone here seems very nice so happy to have found all of you.
I have been experiencing bilateral tingling for approx 4 mos. now. Had an MRI and results were inconclusive. Oh should say I am 73 years old. No prior symptoms that I can think of. Back to MRI. Radiologist said vascular problems most likely such as high bp, migranes etc. Did not rule out MS just said less likely. Can’t seem to get into a neurologist til 4/2023. Yeah that’s right. One neurologist told me she wouldn’t see me if I had ms then read my MRI and told me I didn’t have ms and would not see me. Just feeling very anxious and at times hysterical. Don’t handle things like this but wanted to say how optimistic many of you so you all made me feel better. thanks

Hi Carol

As we get older we are more likely to get those ‘non-specific hyperintensities’ on the MRI scan, which are what you probably have. Non-specific, meaning that a number of things can cause them. And as we get older then we are more likely to have high blood pressure, and have had a longer lifetime so more likely to have encountered some of the things that cause them. MS becomes less likely, and vascular more likely. So neurologists are more likely to dismiss them, not do any of the checks they would do for someone a bit younger. Personally I think this is institutional ageism. Those lesions are evidence of a bit of brain damage, so could possibly be what is causing your symptoms.

Neurologists do the same with brain atrophy - only take it seriously once you show obvious signs of dementia, but in the meantime quietly write on the notes, ‘brain atrophy pattern could be indicative of early onset alzheimer’s’, whilst telling you, it is your age, and ‘normal’. No interest in promoting preventative medicine or holistic lifestyles at an early stage when it might help.

I think a question that neurologists should routinely address is, should it be vascular, what can someone do to slow down the progression. Instead they just wash their hands of you, just like the woman neurologist you approached.

What you can you be doing in the meantime? If you have high blood pressure, or diabetes, are overweight or smoke etc, is to look to see how you may bring them under better control. See where you might make your diet more healthy and improve exercise levels. A healthy lifestyle is good for any condition, even ones you haven’t a name for yet.

Hope you do find a neurologist who is willing to see you, and a bit sooner than April next year.

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Hi Carol…oh dear, that’s not good is it chick?

As you’ll know, our NHS system is very different to USA health scheme.
When we need a referall to a Consultant, our GP (family doctor) does it and we dont get a choice who we see…unless we pay privately.

How does your system work to get to see a Consultant?

Your tingling could be a trapped nerve possibly?

My MS took 22 years to diagnose on NHS .I’m 69 by the way. My symptoms began when I was 45.

Boudsx

Thanks for responding. Is it true in UK and Europe that your docs do not do lumbar punctures to help diagnose MS? Possibly I have lesions on my spine. Yeah the female doc just looked at MRI and wanted to get rid of me. Most likely age. I guess she couldn’t do nerve conduction tests or anything else.
Since I am over 65 I am now on Medicare which is govt run healthcare. We shop around for doctors and since covid docs are overwhelmed and are months behind. Not good for people with urgent needs.

They still do lumbar punctures here in the UK.

So you just had an MRI of your brain and not your neck or spine?

Yes