Remarkable. I mean…I could think again
PORTLAND, Ore. – Ed Ferguson lost his ability to walk, talk, think, even control his bladder.
The Vancouver, Wash. man thought it was Alzheimer's disease or just old age.
The 74-year-old was so unhealthy and unhappy during a five-year period that he contemplated suicide.
"I just figured I was destined to spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair," he said.
But things changed in a big way after his primary care physician noticed a few classic symptoms of a disorder called "Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus" or NPH.
The disorder occurs when your body produces too much cerebral spinal fluid that doesn't drain out of your brain as it should. NPH can begin around age 55. Hundreds of thousands suffer from it, but it's often misdiagnosed because it closely mimics Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.
Ferguson turned to Dr. Jeff Chen at Pacific Neurosurgical for help. After a few tests, there was hope. A shunt was placed in Ferguson's brain, draining fluid from his brain into his abdomen.
The next day, Ferguson was a different man.
"Remarkable. I mean…I could think again. I could talk reasonably with people," he said. "I could move."
His wife, Elva, still can't believe it.
"It is absolutely amazing," she said. "It really is. It's so different that you can't explain it."
Ferguson hopes to ditch his walker very soon.
"You know, I don't think we'll be dancing again but it could happen," his wife said, laughing.
The three big signs of NPH are:
Trouble walking, especially shuffling of the feet
"Patients may just think, well, it's just old age, or problems associated with old age and may not realize it's progressive and debilitating until three or four years later," said Dr. Chen.
for mor information about NPH see this site ... http://www.lifenph.com/