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Lipodystrophy and WastingLipodystrophy and Wasting
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Muscle wasting
Jun 13, 2002

I write with regards to my Father, his problem is not HIV related, but he has muscle wasting in his hand and arm, of which the doctors in Leicester and Nottingham, England cannot give any reason for. He has had many tests and the 'Queens Medical Centre' in Nottingham have said the following - some disturbance of electrical function in the nerves, including a mild ulnar-nerve lesion at the right elbow, but the probability of some recovery following decompression. These electrical tests suggest something disturbed in the spinal cord or nerves themselves. The MRI of your neck shows wear and tear with a disc bulge at C5/6, but no cord compression and no evidence of nerve-root damage, even on this higher powered machine. I have seen the films, which show narrowing of the spinal canal and nerve - root canals at C/5/6, some narrowing of the nerve canals at C6/7, but the lower nerve canals, which are more likely to be responsible for any hand wasting, are absolutely clear. This was sent to my Father in September 2001, and he has not been given any help since, he has been having tests for the past 5 years but has not had any help whatsoever, his hand and arm has become very thin looking, do you have any suggestions, please.

Response from Ms. Fields-Gardner

I imagine that there are specialist forums that could better help you in this situation. Off the top of my head, I would think that there could be many reasons for this problem and it would be very hard to tell the best answers without that information. It doesn't mean that there is nothing you can do... Start by looking at some "bandage" approaches while you pursue appropriate interventions for your father. Physical therapists or occupational therapist may be able to help by recommending activity to strengthen and maintain muscle in the hand and arm. Nerve regeneration is also the subject of research at the moment and I would suggest contacting a specialist in that field with the information you have provided here to see if you can be steered in the right direction.

Best wishes!

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