What is acute demyelinating encephalitis?
Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) is a rare kind of inflammation that affects the brain and spinal cord, usually in children. It damages the coating that protects nerve fibers, called myelin. Symptoms may be severe, but they can be treated. Most people make a full recovery and don’t have another attack.
Is ADEM an autoimmune disease?
ADEM is thought to be an autoimmune condition where the body’s immune system mistakenly identifies its own healthy cells and tissues as foreign and mounts an attack against them. This attack results in inflammation.
How is encephalitis contracted?
Most diagnosed cases of encephalitis in the United States are caused by herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2, arboviruses (such as West Nile Virus), which are transmitted from infected animals to humans through the bite of an infected tick, mosquito, or other blood-sucking insect, or enteroviruses.
What can cause encephalitis?
Encephalitis is most often due to a virus, such as:
- herpes simplex viruses, which cause cold sores and genital herpes (this is the most common cause of encephalitis)
- the varicella zoster virus, which causes chickenpox and shingles.
- measles, mumps and rubella viruses.
Does ADEM cause brain damage?
ADEM typically damages white matter (brain tissue that takes its name from the white color of myelin), leading to neurological symptoms such as visual loss (due to inflammation of the optic nerve) in one or both eyes, weakness even to the point of paralysis, and difficulty coordinating voluntary muscle movements (such …
What are the symptoms of ADEM?
Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM) | Symptoms & Causes
- nausea and vomiting.
- ataxia (unsteady walk)
- sensory changes, including numbness or tingling.
- optic neuritis (trouble with vision)
How do you test for encephalitis?
Tests for encephalitis can include:
- Neuroimaging, such as a brain MRI or CT scan.
- A lumbar puncture (spinal tap) to check for signs of infection in the brain or spinal cord.
- Electroencephalogram (EEG) to look for seizures or specific patterns of electrical activity in the brain.
How is ADEM contracted?
ADEM often develops following an upper respiratory tract infection, usual of viral cause. Specific agents that have been identified as resulting in ADEM include influenza, measles, mumps, rubella, varicella-zoster, Epstein Barr virus, cytomegalovirus, and herpes simplex virus.
How is acute disseminated encephalomyelitis different from other diseases?
The differential diagnosis of ADEM includes acute meningitis, acute viral encephalitis, autoimmune encephalitis and acute multiple sclerosis. Differentiation of these diseases is not easy, certainly in the early stages. In viral encephalitis, the CSF is often abnormal and a rise in specific viral antibody may occur.
Is there a causal diagnosis for acute encephalitis?
The spectrum of acute encephalitis: causes, management, and predictors of outcome. Autoimmune encephalitis epidemiology and a comparison to infectious encephalitis. and the remaining cases do not have a causal diagnosis despite extensive evaluation.
How is acute encephalitis treated in the UK?
A clinical approach to diagnosis of autoimmune encephalitis. Diagnosis and management of acute encephalitis: a practical approach. Management of suspected viral encephalitis in adults —Association of British Neurologists and British Infection Association National Guidelines.
How does secondary encephalitis affect the immune system?
Secondary encephalitis. This condition results from a faulty immune system reaction to an infection elsewhere in the body. Instead of attacking only the cells causing the infection, the immune system also mistakenly attacks healthy cells in the brain.