A lady named Dana contacted me about a month ago. Her 6-year-old son apparently suffers from the stuck music (AMLs). She does not know exactly how long he’s had this issue because he’s only recently developed the ability to express what’s going on inside his head.
Until fairly recently, he had assumed that everyone had stuck music in their heads. He has had the AMLs for some time, but is only now wanting them to go away.
For years, Dana had thought her son might have a hearing problem because he was always shouting and wanting to turn up the volume on the TV and radio. But multiple hearing tests have come up normal. As a sufferer myself, I told her that I could absolutely understand why a child sufferer might try to “turn up the volume” on the real world thinking the external noise could override or drown out the noise in his head.
Then she told me something very curious and critically important from a diagnostic standpoint: Her son is an identical twin. But his brother does NOT have the AMLs.
So I asked her if there are any obvious differences between the two boys. The key differences she noted were that the AML sufferer: (a) craves carbs, and (b) is excessively thirsty.
I knew the carb craving was an indication of insulin resistance (which could be the result of high cortisol levels).
And I knew the excessive thirst was also a symptom of something, but I needed to do some research before I said anything to Dana. It turned out that, in the TV show I recalled seeing, the patient’s thirst was the final clue to her diagnosis of Cushing’s syndrome, which is a condition involving high cortisol levels.
When I told Dana (who is a nurse) what I’d discovered, she agreed that taking her boys to an endocrinologist might be a good next step. I’m hoping to hear back from her after they get the results of the boys’ labs.
If the doctor finds that the AML-suffering twin has much higher cortisol levels than the normal twin, then theoretically he can find an appropriate treatment to suppress the cortisol production.
However, in doing some more research, I found that many of the current cortisol blocking agents are as bad as, or worse than, the problem they intend to treat. One blocks the development of all steroid hormones (which we need to survive). Another reduces cortisol by destroying parts of the adrenal glands. Not good choices, in my opinion.
In any case, I believe that if we can find a researcher willing and able to study these two boys to see what’s different about them, I think we can significantly advance the state of our knowledge about this condition.
And, ideally, we can help get one little boy back to normal. I’ll report if I hear more about this curious case.
Have a great weekend!