Neurological Problems

DrumDoug

Senior Member
There's been a topic I have wanted to bring up for a while. The reason I haven't is because I thought it would just sound like I was whining and making excuses. A couple of years ago I started having problems not being able to move my right foot and losing strength in my hands. It would happen for a little while and go away. After the last time it happened I ended up taking a lot of tests at the doctor. It's long story, but after seeing multiple neurologists, and taking a genetic test, It turns out I have a rare genetic condition called HNPP. Hereditary Neuropathy with Liability to Pressure Palsies. I have a defect in my PMP22 gene which affects my ability to make myelin. The myelin sheath around my nerves is breaking down and my body doesn't replace it correctly. It's causing my nerves to become susceptible to damage and my muscles to weaken.
OK. Bad enough. But as I was reading about myelin and its role in learning, I came across an article about mice who had been given drugs to stop their myelin production. They were unable to learn new skills. After the drug wore off, they were able to learn new skills again. Which bring me to the sounds like an excuse part. HNPP usually kicks in in your early 20s. Im 47. I feel like my drumming skills have been stalled for decades. No matter how much I practice, I feel like I never get any better. My hand speed and foot speed have been the same for 20 years. It's not like I'm trying too play super fast. I'm talking about the faster end of pop and country tunes for my cover band. It's why I obsess over hand technique. I feel like if I could just find there right technique, I would have a breakthrough. Now I'm thinking it's something else. What if I'm not capable of getting any better? If myelin is required to learn new skills, and I can't make myelin anymore, does that mean I'm never going to get any better. Am I just stuck at the skill level I was in my 20s when myelin production stopped? I know this is not a medical forum. I doubt anyone has any advise to give me. This is a rare disease. There is not much information out there about it. I haven't found anything about how it affects your ability to learn. When does an excuse become a reason? From what I read, skills you already have do not deterioate it you keep up practice, I just might not be able to ever get any better.
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
Are there any nutritional recommendations for slowing the disease? I know that a high-fat diet is useful for controlling brain problems like epilepsy.
 

DrumDoug

Senior Member
As far as I've been able to find, there isn't anything to do about it. It progresses differently in different people. Some people never have more than occasional numbness, some people become practically paralyzed from deterioration of motor function. It's so rare that there is not much information about it. From what I've read online most cases are in Europe. Thats where most of the info about it comes from anyway. I supposedly inherited it from one of my parents, but they both died fairly young, so I don't know which one of them had it.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
myelin........a mixture of proteins and phospholipids forming a whitish insulating sheath around many nerve fibers, increasing the speed at which impulses are conducted.


Although it is well-known that myelin can be repaired by oligodendrocytes if it is damaged, scientists do not understand the exact repair mechanisms used by these cells. In MS, myelin unfortunately does not appear to be easily repaired, also for unknown reasons.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
What you have and Charcot-Marie-Tooth (my brother-in-law and niece have it)are often associated with the PMP22 gene/protein defects-in your case it's an autosomal dominant genetic disease but it only affects the peripheral nerves and not your brain (there is none of it brain). It's associated with maintenance of myelin but poorly understood-it also associates with cell-cell tight junction contacts. So while you may peripheral nerve issues that you really do need to take care-I assure you the brain stuff is probably normal aging crap-yeah it gets scarier just wait. You are just freaking yourself out bro-believe me I do that crap all the time. I use to memorize all the songs for gigs-then about your age started the charts to "aid my memory". My brother-in-law has the PMP 22 Charco-Marie-Tooth and Rheumatoid arthritis -a double whammy-he stays on chemodrugs and host of other stuff to keep his immune system at bay-but still works as a Bank executive and bikes weekly at 61. I don't know how he does it. I've been playing all my life and still suck and I bet the last five years alone thought WTH I suck and will never get better- I should quit and sell all my crap. But then HELL NO I love to drum-suck or not, and I keep plugging away in the hopes of getting there. Seems like I read it may concentrate at Schwann cell (make they myelin)-cell contacts and those points (called nodes of Ranvier) are also points where ion channels collect for saltatory conduction-where the current jump from node to node rather than just down it-so much faster means of conduction. The playing fast for you maybe limited with decreased conduction-other than being careful to not precipitate "liability to palsy" playing drums maybe a benefit-even though frustrating and you may plateau speed wise. I think it would be therapeutic to play-what did your doc say?
 
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beatdat

Senior Member
When does an excuse become a reason?

What do you need an excuse for? Doesn't sound like you need a reason for anything.

Sounds like you've already accomplished quite a bit. Perhaps there's a way to develop what you already know without it requiring any "learning" in this physiological sense.

Research everything you can. Cross-reference whatever you find. Use whatever works.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
From what I read, skills you already have do not deterioate it you keep up practice, I just might not be able to ever get any better.

Define “better”. If by better, you mean faster or more powerful, that might be true. But you may still be able to grow in other ways, like being creative with subdivisions and syncopation, or applying things you can already do to new contexts. Have you really explored all the ways there are to use a paradidle? Or a lick like RLB? If you’re able to explore new ways to use things you already have learned, you would become “different”, though not necessarily faster.
 
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