For 15 years, Preski’s local primary care provider in Tampa treated her for chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy, or CIDP, a disorder that involves nerve inflammation and can lead to a loss of muscle control. As Preski’s symptoms worsened, including difficulty walking and bladder leakage, she sought a second opinion.
Preski’s husband, Don, found Alan Berger, MD, a neurologist at UF Health Jacksonville who specializes in neuromuscular conditions. After the initial consult and start of treatment, Berger believed Preski’s difficulty walking was not consistent with CIDP, and instead pointed toward Parkinson’s disease. Berger had Preski meet with fellow UF Health Jacksonville neurologist Natalya Shneyder, MD, a movement disorder specialist.
Shneyder began treating Preski in April 2020 with a medication in trial for Parkinson’s disease. The medication helped for several months, but not as much as expected. Shneyder ordered a DaTscan, a test used to confirm the diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease in unclear cases. The scan returned normal, meaning there was a low possibility of Parkinson’s disease. Shneyder then turned to the possibility of NPH, a rare condition that can mimic other disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease.
Shneyder says people who move slower and have difficulty getting up may sometimes accept it as a sign of aging. Once the condition worsens, patients usually end up needing a walker or wheelchair.
“Normal pressure hydrocephalus is usually a condition of older adults, age 65 and older,” Shneyder said. “I would encourage people who are having progressive problems with their mobility to get an evaluation from a neurologist. A timely evaluation is essential, as there is a point in this condition where surgery cannot improve prognosis.”