Thursday, November 12, 2015

Is it Possible to Have More than One Peripheral Nerve Disorder?

Is it possible to have more than one peripheral nerve disorder? Three years ago I would have said it is highly unlikely – like a 1 in 10 million chance. However, today, I am convinced the prevalence of a peripheral nerve disorder is much higher than I originally anticipated. It would seem the likelihood of getting a peripheral nerve disorder would be much less than 1% (1 in 100). If 1% were the case, they garner more attention. But I am starting to believe that 1 in 100 is much closer than my original estimate of 1 in 10,000. If the odds are 1 in 100 then the odds to have more than one peripheral nerve disorder is 1 in 10,000, meaning up to 32,500 people in the United States can have two peripheral nerve disorders.

Several years back one neurologist opined that I have both Raynaud’s Syndrome and BFS. I thought the two were related and the symptoms were caused by just one peripheral nerve disorder. I told the neurologist that the chance of that happening was 1 in 10 million! I still believe I was right in that case, I only had one peripheral nerve disorder, but my math was wrong. I changed my mind about the probability of having a peripheral nerve disorder a few years back when I was diagnosed with a muscle contraction issue. It is very prevalent in my quad muscles. Essentially, my muscles do not contract fluidly, they contract like a sponge. It is estimated my quad muscles contract about 12 times slower than normal.

My theory is that this issue has basically eliminated any fast muscle twitch I had. I notice when I cycle I do not accelerate into a sprint very well. Once I get myself into a set pace, I am fine, but to change speeds it seems I am much slower than my competition. Other than this, I do not see any negative effects on my lifestyle from this anomaly. Hence, it is highly plausible that more people may have muscle contraction issues but may not have seen a doctor about it. Why? It does not affect their lives. Mine was only discovered because I was being evaluated for BFS/CFS type symptoms. I suspect, disorders such as rippling muscle disease are more prevalent than 1 in 10 million.

BFS is a muscle firing problem caused by an imbalance at the potassium channel at the nerve endings whereas contraction issues are caused by an imbalance at the calcium channel at the nerve endings. They are mutual exclusive and therefore, I do have more than one peripheral nerve disorder. This was verified by neurologist who said he has seen dozens of patients with BFS and none of them have contraction issues with their muscles as a symptom (I am unique in this respect). He tested me for lots of potential causes but like my BFS, the origins are unknown.

This really got me to believe the probability of getting a peripheral nerve disorder is much higher than I originally anticipated and I believe these odds are increasing over time. This is a hypothesis, and I cannot prove it, but the quantity of people in my BFS survey is a little bit of data to support this theory.

I posted a very brief video of me punching my quad muscles to show that they react much differently than a normal quad muscle – they are not fluid:

The below video (very brief) shows what appear to be fasciculations in my right quad. However, I have quad muscle flexed (okay do not laugh at my chicken legs) and generally you cannot see fasciculations when the muscle is flexed, just when it is relaxed. That is why I am not sure what you are seeing is fasciculations – I actually believe when my leg is in this state the muscles are confused as to whether contract or fire and it cause a fluttering motion (much more prominent in person than on film).

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