I would like your opinions

Hi, I am new to this but will try and explain my situation as clearly as I can…

I suffer from recurrent 6th nerve palsy on my right eye since the age of 14 years old. I have had 5 episodes between the age of 14 and 20 years old. All resolved within 2 months of onset with no other symptoms and all tests were clear (spinal tap, 3x MRI, angiography, evoked potentials, EMG, blood work…etc). I am now 32 and the palsy on my right eye has suddenly come back with no other symptoms. I have had NCS, evoked potentials and an MRI done this week for which I waiting for the results to come back. Since I did the NCS studies I have mild pins and needles in my hands and feet and sometimes all over my body. It doesn’t bother me at night and it is more in the background than anything. I have asked my two neurologists whether my palsy and circumstances could be indicative of MS which they categorically said they weren’t. Could these pins and needles actually mean I could have MS or could it just be stress related as the whole thing has really increased my stress levels hugely and I am obsessing about it trolling the internet for more and more information every single day… It had been 11 years since my last palsy and I thought it was all over so I am not reacting very well to it all…

I would like to get your opinions based on experience, knowledge etc…

Thank you very in advance for your help.

Hi Stavraretina32

Welcome to the forum. In answer to your question yes your sixth nerve palsy and pins and needles could be MS but they could be something else as well.

Usually with MS the nerve palsies that occur don’t keep appearing then disappearing as yours has and it would be very strange for you to have had no other symptoms and just numerous episodes of this - not to say it’s impossible. In MS the pins and needles sensation is caused by lesions/inflammation in specific areas of your central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). Therefore the pins and needles don’t tend to occur everywhere, all over the place or move around one day from R foot to L arm to R butt to nose (if you see what I mean).

It sounds like you have already had quite a thorough battery of tests to look for things so far - I presume myasthenia / thyroid / sinus infections / ear infections / raised intracranial pressure etc have been ruled out. My gut feeling is it doesn’t sound like MS but then I’m not an expert or trained neurologist. That’s not to say that something isn’t a miss - I mean it certainly isn’t normal to have numerous recurrent 6th nerve palsies.

It sounds like you are in good hands being investigated and hard though it is I would try and relax and take a step back and wait for the new sets of results. I’m sure you’re more aufait with the process than me but remember if you are getting double vision as a result of your palsy there maybe things the eye department/ orthoptist can do to join it temporarily so you can continue to function as normally as possible.

Best of luck - hope you manage to get some answers.



Hi there, So you are 32 now, and this stuff began when you were 14, so we’re talking a total of something like 18 years complete timescale - is that right? But the symptoms have only ever been a type of palsy in the same eye every time, and just recently a bit of tingling? My gut reaction that MS tends to be more random than that. Lesions form in different parts of the brain and spinal cord at random intervals, so you get different symptoms at different times, depending which bit has gone wonky this time! Although it is possible to get a recurrence of old symptoms, it would be very unusual to get multiple recurrences of essentially ONE symptom, spanning years, without any random new ones thrown in. I realise you are saying that, relatively recently, there HAVE been some new symptoms, in the form of pins and needles, but it really doesn’t sound typical of MS to have it for as long as 18 years, and only now for there to be any variation in the number or type of symptoms - previously always the same. That would imply that (until recently, at least) inflammation ALWAYS struck at the same area of the brain, and MS doesn’t really work like that - it likes to ring the changes. You can have one attack that affects vision, another affecting balance, yet another affecting use of a limb - that kind of thing. But NOT usually five or six attacks, spanning years - all the same! I can’t say categorically it’s not MS - but then I’m no neuro. It just strikes me as a rather unusual course, if it was - too repetitive. Pins and needles, as a symptom in isolation, are not really strongly indicative of anything, and yes, they could be stress-related. I would say that whole body symptoms would be unusual, for MS - again because of this thing that it affects random areas of the brain. Usually, you will only experience symptoms in those parts of the body managed by the damaged bits. Although the damage does mount up over time, so quite a lot of brain areas can be affected, you still wouldn’t really get “whole brain” involvement, all at once, so it would be unlikely to get a symptom (e.g. pins and needles) that is felt everywhere. People more often report tingly fingers, or a tingly foot, or some other specific bit of them. Not all over. Hope this helps. Good luck with getting to the bottom of it! Tina x

LoL - sorry about that. As usual, took so long to type on the stupid iPad, and then correct all the mistakes, someone was there waaaay before me! Looks like Reemz and I broadly agree, though - quite a lot of overlap in our answers. Hope this is some reassurance! Tina x

Thank you so much to both of you for taking the time to reply, I really appreciate it. It does provide some reassurance indeed as it looks like the tingling symptoms don’t seem to correspond to what you would normally get with MS. Stress and anxiety have always been a massive issue for me and I am completely unable to control it so it could be related… All I can do now is wait for the results of these tests and hope my vision will come back to normal as it did in the past. I am also waiting for my prism to be able to see single in the meantime.