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On the Brain
September 2017

Nontraditional Diagnoses in Minority Populations: White Disease, Brown Body

Author Affiliations
  • 1San Jose State University, San Jose, California
JAMA Neurol. 2017;74(9):1035-1036. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2017.1642

I had just turned 24 years old when I unknowingly felt my first symptom. My right leg went numb from my toes to just below my waist, and the numbness spread through the right half of my groin area. It was a severity of numbness that had not rendered me immobile, but it was noticeably a nuisance in my day-to-day activities. I reached out to my primary care physician (PCP), and she said that it was nothing that sounded alarming or of concern and that it would go away on its own. I thought, if the physician says it’s okay, then it’s nothing of concern, right? About 6 weeks passed, and she was right. I slowly regained normal feeling in my leg, and with the lack of curiosity from my PCP, I didn’t think twice about the symptom.

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