|Chewing the cud, or at least the hay, in Kent.|
A recent article reminded me about the dangers of classing myself simply as "someone with CLIPPERS". Probabilities are funny things; when considering someone who is otherwise well, the lifetime chance of them getting diagnosed with CLIPPERS is very small indeed. The lifetime chance of them getting diagnosed with CLIPPERS AND some other condition is even smaller. However, for someone who already has a diagnosis of CLIPPERS, their chance of getting some other condition is just the same as anyone else (unless CLIPPERS has some mysterious protective effect which seems unlikely).
In their article "Stroke mimicking relapse in a patient with CLIPPERS syndrome" (unfortunately, not freely available), Dr Lefaucher and colleagues from Rouen describe exactly this latter set of circumstances. A 52-year old man who had been diagnosed with CLIPPERS four years previously presented with double vision and ataxia, both common symptoms of CLIPPERS. After running some tests, a particular kind of stroke affecting a similar region of the brain as CLIPPERS was diagnosed and the patient was treated accordingly. In the paper, the authors briefly discuss whether disease processes associated with CLIPPERS could have made this kind of stroke more likely in this patient. They suggest that damage to small vessels after inflammatory disease (i.e. like CLIPPERS) could be a risk factor for subsequent stroke. However they also say, with a slightly odd choice of words, that the association between CLIPPERS and stroke in this case is simply "fortuitous" - I think I prefer the term "coincidental" but I'm pleased they concede that it could be just "one of those things" (my phrasing).
As someone in reasonable health, apart from CLIPPERS, and approaching middle-age this article reminded me that just because I drew the short straw in terms of rare cerebellar disease, doesn't mean that I am immune from any of the more common conditions that can appear as we age. So it's definitely worth doing the usual things to stay healthy to avoid as far as possible any other surprises.
Read other articles in this series at Living With CLIPPERS.
Living With CLIPPERS by Bill Crum is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.