Encephalomyelitis

Encephalomyelitis Description: ICD-9-CM: 323.9. Inflammation of the spinal cord and brain. Terminology: Acute disseminated , acute necrotizing hemorrhagic, benign myalgic, eastern equine, associated with carcinoma, epidemic myalgic, equine, experimental allergic, granulomatous herpes B encephalomyelitis, mouse, postvaccinal , Venezuelan equine, viral , western equine , zoster encephalomyelitis. Types: 1. Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM). 2 Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) Symptoms:Encephalomyelitis Commong symptoms include: Fever, headache, lethargy, seizures, vomiting, nausesa, walking difficulty, weight loos, visual disturbances, paralysis, and disorienation. ADEM is characterized by a brief but intense attack of inflammation in the brain and spinal cord that damages myelin - the protective covering of nerve fibers. It often follows viral infection, or less often, vaccination for measles, mumps, or rubella. Causes and Risk Factors: The causes of encephalomyelitisare unknown. There are several theories. Some experts think that a viral infection such as glandular fever can trigger the condition. Tiredness is normal after a viral infection, but this does not explain why symptoms persist and get worse. It is more likely that encephalomyelitisis caused by a combination of physical and psychological factors, which also affect how severe the condition is and how long it lasts. The main factors thought to increase the risk of encephalomyelitis are: Inherited genetic susceptibility.
  • viral infections such as glandular fever, which weaken the immune system.
  • exhaustion and mental stress.
  • Depression.
  • a recent traumatic event, such as bereavement, divorce or redundancy.
  • childhood trauma.
Encephalomyelitisis sometimes misdiagnosed as a severe first attack of multiple sclerosis (MS), since some of the symptoms of the two disorders, particularly those caused by white matter injury, may be similar. However, ADEM usually has symptoms of encephalitis (such as fever or coma), as well as symptoms of myelin damage (visual loss, paralysis), as opposed to MS, which doesn't have encephalitis symptoms. In addition, encephalomyelitisusually consists of a single episode or attack, while MS features many attacks over the course of time. Diagnosis: Doctors will often use imaging techniques, such as MRI to search for old and new lesions on the brain. Old “inactive” brain lesions on MRI suggest that the condition may be MS rather than ADEM, since MS often causes brain lesions before symptoms become obvious. In rare situations, brain biopsy may show findings that allow differentiation between ADEM and severe, acute forms of MS. Children are more likely than adults to have ADEM. Treamtnet Options: Treatments are targeted at suppressing inflammation in the brain using anti-inflammatory drugs. Most individuals respond to intravenous corticosteroids such as methylprednisolone. When corticosteroids fail to work, plasmapheresis or intravenous immunoglobulin therapy has been shown to produce improvement. Note: The following drugs and medications are in some way related to, or used in the treatment. This service should be used as a supplement to, and NOT a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. DISCLAIMER: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care.

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