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Question
Posted by: Craig Helen | 2003/03/07

Petimal, Stroke, MS & Depression

As a child I had Petimal until I was 6years old. My Grandfather also had this condition which I don't quite understand what it is? I have had 2 stroke like episodes and the doctors have suggested MS as there are other symtoms eg leg spasms, optic neuritis, bladder problems etc. My question is can all these symptons lead to depression and anxiety attacks? If the answer is yes, where do I go for help?
Thank you
Regards
Craig

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Our expert says:
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Dear Craig,
Well, there are several questions here. Petit Mal is a form of Epilepsy, sometimes called Minor Epilepsy, which doesn't involve dramatic fits, but more subtle symptoms. It can have a vairety of causes of this excess irritability of some portion of brain, which is the basis of Epilepsy itself.
Now, MS is a different condition, not fully understood as regards its causes, which involves damage at different times, to different parts of the nervous system, some of which heals itself reasonably well, some of which may not reverse so completely. The range of symptoms you mention can indeed be part of MS. For the best advice on the accurate diagnosis of MS, and its management, you'd want to see a good Neurologist, perhaps even someone in the academic Dept of Neurology at your nearest Medical School.
Now, ANY symptoms, especially those which are chronic, or recurring, or mysterious or frightening, can lead to symptoms of anxiety and depression, and the Neurologist should be able to assess these and take them into account within the treatment plan you would work out with him / her. If necessary, the Neurologist could ask the advice of a Psychiatrist, on the best treatment options for this, as counselling can also be a useful part of the management of MS.

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