Cristina’s story – Disentangling the diagnosis


Cristina, an Italian teenager who had been playing volleyball since the age of three, suddenly started having debilitating physical problems; she could barely jump and run.

Her parents and physiotherapist understood that something was very wrong. After a year of tests, her path crossed with Neurologist Giovanni Antonini, Head of the Neuropathology Department of the Sant’Andrea Hospital in Rome.

He had the insight to understand that her condition didn’t fall within a congenital disease framework since she had been an athlete for most of her life without showing any gradual signs of decline and was probably, therefore, an acquired disease.

Professor Antonini decided to try a type of treatment that turned out to be successful for Cristina. Even though she is not yet fully cured, she has regained her full health and is back on the court playing her favorite sport.

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