I have had the good fortune recently to get in touch with an amazing blogger who just happens to be a neurologist. Doctor Nitin Sethi is a neurologist and Assistant Professor of Neurology at New York Presbyterian Hospital and Weill Cornell Medical Center. Doctor Sethi's personal philosophy is to give back as much as he can to the community at large, and he does so with great compassion. He has agreed to not only grant me the opportunity for multiple interviews, but is also willing to answer reader questions. I will tell you the details about how you can pose questions to Doctor Sethi in a subsequent post.
I am most honored to introduce to you...
Nitin K. Sethi, MD
Assistant Professor of Neurology
New York-Presbyterian Hospital
Weill Cornell Medical Center
New York, NY 10065
Doctor Sethi has written numerous articles in the field of neurology and you can find many of them here.
He also has a website called Brain Diseases Information
(Doctor Sethi's goal is to present medical information to the general population who may not have access to medical and scientific journals.)
You may visit Doctor Sethi at his blog called Brain Diseases
(Doctor Sethi writes on numerous topics including Multiple Sclerosis and epilepsy.)
Prior to my official diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis my doctor ordered some other tests, most notably blood tests to rule out other disorders. What are some of the other disorders and diseases which can mimic the symptoms of MS?
Multiple sclerosis has been called the great mimicker and there is a reason to this. The initial signs and symptoms of MS can mimic those of many other more common diseases. As I see it there are two kinds of patients. One who, when they present to a doctor, have signs and symptoms so characteristic of MS, that the diagnosis is readily apparent. These are usually patients who give history of multiple attacks suggestive of MS over a period of time. To make a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis one should have at least two attacks which are separated in time and space.
Let me explain this further. Let's assume you go to your doctor because you have been having numbness in your right arm. Your doctor examines you and finds that apart from sensory loss in the right arm, you have other examination findings such as you have ataxia (your gait is off and unsteady), your movements are uncoordinated and you have a tremor in your right arm, your eyes do not move well and you have what we call internuclear opthalmoplegia. What I am trying to say is that your examination findings are suggestive of not one but multiple sites of pathology in your brain.
Numbness in the right arm localizes to the sensory cortex on the left side of your brain.
Ataxia might be due to a midline cerebellar problem.
Right arm tremor localizes to the right cerebellum (cerebellar pathways are double crossed in the brain).