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An error of self-diagnosis—but what was the real diagnosis?
  1. Mamede de Carvalho1,
  2. Michael Swash2
  1. 1
    Consultant, Neurology Department, Santa Maria Hospital, Lisbon, Portugal
  2. 2
    Consultant, Neuromuscular Unit, Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Lisbon, Portugal
  1. Correspondence to Professor M de Carvalho, Neurology Department, Santa Maria Hospital, Ave Prof Egas Moniz, Lisbon 1649, Portugal; mamedemg{at}


The availability of information on the internet encourages people to explore their own diagnosis. Although more knowledge is usually a good thing, self-diagnosis in this way may not always be correct, and it can even adversely influence the medical diagnosis, as in this patient, where the underlying disorder is still uncertain. The patient illustrates the confusion and difficulty in categorising an usual clinical syndrome.

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