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Q. Can copper deficiency cause short-term memory loss and paresthesia of the face?

Answered by
Dr. Hitesh Kumar
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on May 18, 2017

Hello doctor,

I am a 27 year old female, and I have severe short-term memory loss (8/30 MMSE). I have paresthesia bilaterally on my face, which has spread from the upper part to around my mouth. I also have startle myoclonus and muscle stiffness. My walking speed has slowed, and the muscles in my face are not working properly. My expression is massively reduced. Last year, I had lots of tests including a brain MRI. The only abnormality that was found was that I had a copper deficiency. Since then my memory has deteriorated, and my walking has slowed massively. I saw a doctor when the sensations on my face began to spread, and he advised to consult a neurologist urgently. But my GP will not order it, and I have nowhere to turn. I am hoping someone can give me some objective or an independent advice. Current medications that I take are Cyclizine IM, Pregabalin 50, Baclofen 10 mg, Co-codamol, and Quetiapine 150 mg at night for severe insomnia.



Welcome to

  • Copper deficiency is a known cause for non-compressive myelopathy, which can explain your muscle stiffness, slowed walking, and clonus in legs.
  • But startle myoclonus is a different thing. It might be a flexor spasm in legs, which someone interpreted as startle myoclonus. But your new symptoms like memory loss and paresthesias on face require further evaluation.
  • It will be better if you can visit a neurologist in person for a detailed history and full clinical examination to analyze your symptoms. It will be very difficult for anyone to compile your symptoms without examining.

For more information consult a neurologist online -->

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