Kennedy Disease

2001 Kennedy's Disease Association case in which a 50 year old man describes:

I have suffered some symptoms since my early thirties. Back then I was already having problems with aching calf muscles and bad cramps in most muscles, this was despite the fact that I was quite fit then, playing Badminton and jogging.

Eventually the muscle cramps became unbearable and were preventing me from doing literally anything. When asked by anyone where I got cramp? I would answer by asking them to name a muscle, then I would simply use that muscle for a short while to put it into spasm.

In 1994, on a regular trip to my cardiologist I told him of the problems with the cramp, however by this stage my outstretched hands had developed a tremor and I was beginning to notice I was losing a little coordination in them as well.

In 1995, I was given an appointment to see a Rheumatologist.  By the time I saw him I had started to get fasciculations particularly in my legs which by then were aching after only a 100 yards or so. I was examined and after only a few minutes I was booked in for a nerve conduction test.  

It never ceases to amaze me how quick my Neurologist spotted the Kennedy's Disease, although Gynecomastia was clearly evident then (as it has been since my adolescence).

Later in 1997, I started to have real problems with swallowing. For many years I had always been a slow eater since I was unable to swallow anything other than small mouthfuls of food, but now it often went ‘down the wrong hole’ so to speak.

Click here to see the result in SimulConsult Diagnostic Decision Support with all the findings combined together. 

Even without the later-developing dysphagia or the laboratory testing, Kennedy disease is the overwhelming favorite for the diagnosis.  The other disease considered, ALS, is also prominent in the differential diagnosis.

There are more Kennedy disease personal stories on the Kennedy's Disease Association Web site.

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If you know of interesting cases in the news, in journals or on open Web sites of hospitals or foundations, please contact us and include enough information for us to find the material. The differential diagnosis will change over time as people mull over the case and submit new information to the database about findings in the relevant diseases.