Your brain is the center of your nervous system. Your brain regulates and monitors your body’s actions and reactions. Your brain is constantly receiving sensory information. It quickly analyzes the data that it receives and then acts on that data by controlling your bodily functions and actions.
Immune-mediated encephalomyelitis is a neurological disease that is characterized by inflammation of your spinal cord and brain. This inflammation is the result of damage to your myelin sheath. Your myelin sheath is the fatty covering that is on nerve fibers in your brain. Your myelin sheath works like an insulator.
Immune-mediated encephalomyelitis is referred to by other names. It is also known as postinfectious encephalomyelitis, acute disseminated encephalomyelitis and ADEM.
Immune-mediated encephalomyelitis is extraordinarily similar to multiple sclerosis (MS) in regard to white matter injury to your brain. White matter is brain tissue that gets its name from the white color of myelin.
The difference is that multiple sclerosis is chronic (ongoing, long lasting) and may have many recurring attacks as time goes by. On the other hand, immune-mediated encephalomyelitis is acute (short term) and rarely recurs. When immune-mediated encephalomyelitis does recur, it is referred to as recurrent disseminated encephalomyelitis or multiphasic disseminated encephalomyelitis.
Somewhere around 8 out of every 1,000,000 people are affected by immune-mediated encephalomyelitis in the United States every year. Although immune-mediated encephalomyelitis may occur in people of all ages, it develops most frequently in children and adolescents.
Many times, immune-mediated encephalomyelitis develops in conjunction with a viral, bacterial or parasitic infection. On other occasions, it may result as a complication of an inoculation or vaccination. Immune-mediated encephalomyelitis may also take place without any preceding cause.
There are several signs and symptoms that you may experience which may be an indication of immune-mediated encephalomyelitis. Some of these are:
- Vision loss in one or both of your eyes due to the inflammation of your optic nerve
- Weakness that may develop into paralysis
- Nausea and vomiting
- Difficulty with coordinating voluntary movements, such as walking
- Unintentional weight loss
Immune-mediated encephalomyelitis is usually diagnosed by a physical and neurological examination, your medical history and your signs and symptoms. An MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) exam may also be done in order to rule out other possible causes of your signs and symptoms and to help make a definitive diagnosis.
The treatment of immune-mediated encephalomyelitis is designed to deal with the inflammation of your brain. Treatment usually consists of the use of anti-inflammatory medications, such as intravenous corticosteroids. If these medications do not prove to be effective, plasmapheresis or intravenous immunoglobulin therapy may be used. Chemotherapy may be used if other treatments have not been effective in extremely severe cases.
There are serious disabling complications that may develop from immune-mediated encephalomyelitis. Some of these include frustration, cognitive deficits, problems with short-term memory, difficulty controlling your emotions, hemiparesis (weakness on one side of your body and ataxia (inability to coordinate voluntary muscle movements, unsteady gait and unsteady movements).
Immune-mediated encephalomyelitis and/or complications that have been brought about by it may have led to your disability and be what is preventing you from being able to work. If this is the case, have you sought after Social Security disability benefits or disability benefits from the Social Security Administration?
Did you fail in your attempt to get these benefits? Are you trying to figure out what your next step should be? Get more help now.
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