Medical mystery solved after nearly 15 years - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Medical mystery solved after nearly 15 years

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By: Chelsea Priest, cpriest@abc6.com

Roberta Healy was in her late forties when she started noticing something was wrong. "I'd start walking and all of a sudden I'd be compelled to veer off to the left. I couldn't stay in a straight line as hard as I tried I just couldn't."

Doctors said it was just aging. She had difficulty balancing and always felt like she was in a fog. She dealt with the symptoms for almost 15 years, and even had to sell her home. "Every now and again I'd say to heck with it. I'm just going to live with it, I'm not going to go to anymore doctors and that's the end."

Then after seeing five neurosurgeons she met Dr. Petra Klinge, an internationally known specialist of normal pressure hydrocephalus, NPH, who works at Rhode Island Hospital and is an associate professor of neurosurgery at Brown University. She says, "The symptoms occur in a certain sequence and some aspects that patients report are very typical and it makes you think that there is a problem with the brain fluid." Basically, too much fluid in the brain. It's a hard to diagnose condition and not much is known about it, some don't even believe it exists.

Roberta couldn't disagree more. After a shunt was put in her head to drain the fluid from her brain to her abdomen she is back to her old self. "As soon as I was back in my room I woke up and thought I'm myself again."

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