Subacute combined degeneration - Symptom
Subacute combined degeneration of the spinal cord; SCD
- Abnormal sensations (tingling and numbness)
- Weakness of the legs, arms, or other areas
These symptoms slowly get worse and are usually felt on both sides of the body.
Other symptoms include:
Signs and tests:
The health care provider will perform a physical exam. An exam usually shows muscle weakness and sensation disturbances on both sides of the body, especially in the legs. Reflexes are often abnormal. Muscles may develop spasticity. You may have a reduced sense of touch, pain, and temperature.
Mental changes range from mild forgetfulness to severe dementia or psychosis. Severe dementia is uncommon, but in some cases, it is the first symptom of the disorder.
An eye exam may show damage to the optic nerve, a condition called optic neuritis. Signs of nerve inflammation may be seen during a retinal exam. There may also be abnormal pupil responses, decreased visual acuity, and other changes.
Blood tests, including a complete blood count (CBC), vitamin B12 blood level, or methylmalonic acid blood level are used to diagnose anemia or vitamin B12 deficiency.
- Reviewed last on: 4/30/2011
- Kevin Sheth, MD, Department of Neurology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine;David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
So YT, Simon RP. Deficiency diseases of the nervous system. In: Bradley WG, Daroff RB, Fenichel GM, Jankovic J, eds. Bradley: Neurology in Clinical Practice. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Butterworth-Heinemann Elsevier; 2008:chap 61.
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