“I was just like, ‘Why do I have to go to a doctor?'” she recalled.
“I had a panic attack and I didn’t know what was going on.
I just went into the bathroom and I cried.”
Dr. Mark B. Hargrove, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, says a combination of factors may be at play when it comes to the development of some nervous system disorders.
Hensons symptoms were a result of a combination: chronic stress, medication and a genetic predisposition.
“We know that a lot of these things, particularly medication and stress, are connected to each other,” he said.
“The way that stress, chronic stress and medication interact with each other is that if you get a high stress response, you’re more likely to have an increased incidence of certain types of diseases.”
The first step to treatment for nervous system ailments is to determine if your symptoms are associated with any other conditions, Hargrot says.
“You can use the symptoms as a marker of other illnesses.”
Hensons case has been reviewed by a physician at a hospital in Texas who is also a neurologist, and the doctor says that it’s likely that the cause is unrelated to the diagnosis.
Dr. Jeffrey A. Hernández, a neurology professor at the Cleveland Clinic, also is skeptical that Henson’s symptoms are related to a neurological condition.
“What this suggests is that she has a neurological disorder and we don’t know how it manifests itself,” he told ABC News.
“But I don’t think this is a rare disorder,” he added.
“If this was a true case of neuropsychiatric disorders, we would be looking for a diagnosis of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder,” said Dr. Hirsch, who added that Hernons symptoms “could be related to other mental health disorders.”
“It’s certainly an unusual and concerning situation,” said Hensson’s doctor, Dr. Jeffrey S. Juhl, who also happens to be a neurologic specialist.
“I don’t believe there’s a simple answer,” he concluded.
Hernon’s mother, who is not identified by her full name, says that her daughter is lucky to have survived her condition.
She has since been released from a psychiatric hospital in the Houston area.
“It has taken her a long time, but she’s gotten better,” she said.
“She’s had the support of her family, and they have done everything in their power to help her,” she added.
“It has been a great journey.”
Dr Juhls diagnosis of nervous system conditions has been controversial, with the most recent news reports referring to it as “brain fatigue syndrome” or “brain dysfusion.”
The medical profession has not settled on a definition of the condition, and no clear guidelines have been published.
However, in recent years, there has been an explosion of new research, spurred by the success of drugs that target a specific area of the brain called the amygdala.
Dr. Junds team at Johns Hopkins University recently published results of a trial of a new drug, zolpidem, which targets the amygdala in mice, and was the first to show that it was effective at reducing anxiety symptoms in mice with severe cases of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
In another study, published last year, the team at Yale University found that zolperidone, the standard of care for treatment of severe nervous system depression, had a mild effect on anxiety in mice.
While the new treatments have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, they have shown promising results for patients.
Hensson, who has since regained full use of her hearing and balance, is hoping that zoprofosbuvir, a drug that blocks a protein called TGF-beta, can help her return to normal.
Hence, Hensman says, the family is hopeful that her next step will be to find a doctor who can treat her nervous system disorder and give her another shot of zoporidone.
“Maybe I’ll go back to the doctors,” she told ABCNews.
“They’re a bunch of crazy people, but they’re good people.”