October 26, 2009

Possible Dystonia (Rare Neurological Condition) After Flu Shot

Desiree Jennings, a former Redskins cheerleader, received a seasonal flu shot on Aug 23, 2009 and has suffered from a possible dystonia reaction from the flu vaccination resulting in difficulties in eating, talking, and walking.

Here is a link to a video where Dr. Stephen Grill (neurologist) is interviewed by Fox News regarding Desiree's condition.

Here is a video/article of the initial story.

This story is a case of a VERY unfortunate EXTREMELY rare side effect (if true) of the flu vaccine. People should still get the flu vaccine, but be aware that it is not 100% benign in all cases.

However, it seems that Desiree's flu shot reaction may have been psychogenic (and not a true side effect of the vaccine at all). Read this blog article which goes into this in more detail.

Regardless, people have developed rare neurological conditions called laryngeal dystonia otherwise known more commonly as spasmodic dysphonia. The way Desiree talks (from what I can hear from the videos) is distinctly different from patients who suffer from classic spasmodic dysphonia. Click here to hear what laryngeal dystonia/spasmodic dysphonia sounds like.

(Of note, I received both the seasonal and the H1N1 vaccine and have encouraged all my friends, family, and patients who inquire to do so as well.)
Fauquier blog
Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids.


Jessica Forester said...

After 6 months of offering stem cell therapy in combination with the venous angioplasty liberation procedure, patients of CCSVI Clinic have reported excellent health outcomes. Ms. Kasma Gianopoulos of Athens Greece, who was diagnosed with the Relapsing/Remitting form of MS in 1997 called the combination of treatments a “cure”. “I feel I am completely cured” says Ms. Gianopoulos, “my symptoms have disappeared and I have a recovery of many functions, notably my balance and my muscle strength is all coming (back). Even after six months, I feel like there are good changes happening almost every day. Before, my biggest fear was that the changes wouldn’t (hold). I don’t even worry about having a relapse anymore. I’m looking forward to a normal life with my family. I think I would call that a miracle.”
Other recent MS patients who have had Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation (ASCT), or stem cell therapy have posted videos and comments on YouTube. www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFQr2eqm3Cg.
Dr. Avneesh Gupte, the Neurosurgeon at Noble Hospital performing the procedure has been encouraged by results in Cerebral Palsy patients as well. “We are fortunate to be able to offer the treatment because not every hospital is able to perform these types of transplants. You must have the specialized medical equipment and specially trained doctors and nurses”. With regard to MS patients, “We are cautious, but nevertheless excited by what patients are telling us. Suffice to say that the few patients who have had the therapy through us are noticing recovery of neuro deficits beyond what the venous angioplasty only should account for”.
Dr. Unmesh of Noble continues: “These are early days and certainly all evidence that the combination of liberation and stem cell therapies working together at this point is anecdotal. However I am not aware of other medical facilities in the world that offer the synthesis of both to MS patients on an approved basis and it is indeed a rare opportunity for MS patients to take advantage of a treatment that is quite possibly unique in the world”.
Autologous stem cell transplantation is a procedure by which blood-forming stem cells are removed, and later injected back into the patient. All stem cells are taken from the patient themselves and cultured for later injection. In the case of a bone marrow transplant, the HSC are typically removed from the Pelvis through a large needle that can reach into the bone. The technique is referred to as a bone marrow harvest and is performed under a general anesthesia. The incidence of patients experiencing rejection is rare due to the donor and recipient being the same individual.This remains the only approved method of the SCT therapy.

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