Sudden horrible headaches and exhaustion

A person who I am in part responsible in caring for (mid 20's) has suddenly developed incapacitating daily, horrible, electric headaches, gets out of breath walking even a block (before this he regularly ran ten or more miles no problem), has trouble concentrating, can barely read a few pages without getting wiped out (as a humanities grad student he normally reads several books a day).  He went to the ER where they said he needs to get head MRI and a neurologist--can anyone recommend any particular neurologists (not Kaiser), and if there are other specialists that might be appropriate?

Thank you very much.

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I highly recommend the neurology practice at UCSF, if his insurance covers them and he can go to their office on Parnassus in SF. They can also do remote appointments (but will probably only do that for follow up, first appointment probably needs to be in person). 

Have they had a covid test?
Does the person have medical insurance?
I would start by contact UCSF Medical center. 

They should consider getting a primary care provider who can help them with these referrals, do initial blood work, and monitor over time. I recommend One Medical or Carbon Health or Berkeley Outpatient Center as some options for this. Is it possible they had COVID or mono? Any psychological stressors that might always warrant therapy? Start with the PCP and then go from there! 

While you're on this journey, you might want to look for a lyme literate doctor just to consider tick borne / vector borne disease in the mix. What you are describing sounds like lyme and co-infections. You can check out the Bay Area Lyme Foundation or ILADS for provider recommendations (Kaiser is a non-starter with lyme disease). Good luck.

Honestly, I would suggest going back to the ER immediately, have him fall on the floor if he needs to. They should have done the MRI while he was there and at least some blood work! That is just crazy and I hope you are able to get him seen ASAP to rule out anything crazy. Those symptoms are not typical, get to ER ASAP. 

This sounds like me before I got my celiac disease diagnosis. I was very malnourished---deficient in B12, C, riboflavin, iron, etc., and that caused all of those symptoms you are describing. It's taken time to rebuild the villi my small intestine and rebuild my nutrient levels, but the celiac disease was why I got headaches, had exercise intolerance, fuzzy brain, rapid heartbeat, debilitating exhaustion, etc. The first step is a blood test, so I'd do that first before getting an MRI or anything like that. They can do a celiac panel, but they can also check for vitamin and nutrient deficiencies (e.g., ferritin for his iron levels). I did NOT have any gastrointestinal symptoms that would have pointed towards a celiac disease diagnosis, and this is not unusual in celiac patients. Good luck!