Cranial Nerve degeneration

Yitzchok Dukesz learn at
Wed Aug 5 22:21:08 EST 1998

I am a family physician/psychotherapist and am asking for help for one of my
patients (a 50 year old woman) who I see in therapy that has a rare cranial
nerve disorder.
She was initially noted to have a right vocal chord paralysis in 1992. This
progessed over the next few years to a bilateral paralysis and then in 1996
she also began to notice trouble swallowing. Presently she is only able to
speak in a high pitched whispering tone of voice and chokes frequently while
She has seen 3 neurologists and an ENT specialist. She has had a spinal tap,
a CT scan and an MRI (of her brainstem) all of which are completely normal.
Her neurologist (who I understand is a top neurologist in our city) has told
her that she has a degeneration of her 9'th, 10'th, and 12'th cranial nerves
and that there is nothing at all that can be done about it. She has also
been told that the disorder is basically progressive and will likely
eventually result in her having a tracheostomy and a gastrostomy tube for
It is her impression that while her neurologist is competent, she is not
'doing enough' to research this rare disease and exchange information with
other specialists in different centers across the world.
To this end I am posting this article to the Net to hopefully reach as wide
an audience as possible of neurologists who may be able to help her.
It should be noted that I am her psychotherapist and not her Family MD and
so I do not have immediate access to her charts. However for anyone needing
more specific info, she will be able to furnish this.
Thanks for your help.

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