Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis

Also known as: ADEM acute disseminated encephalomyelitis.

What is acute disseminated encephalomyelitis?

Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis is a brain disorder that occurs more often in children than adults. It involves an inflammatory response in the brain causing alteration of mental state and other neurologic symptoms.

What causes acute disseminated encephalomyelitis?

Oftentimes, acute disseminated encephalomyelitis is a rare reaction that occurs after a bacterial or viral infection. It can also occur very rarely after vaccinations.

What are the symptoms of acute disseminated encephalomyelitis?

Common symptoms of acute disseminated encephalomyelitis include:

  • trouble with balance
  • blurred vision
  • difficulty swallowing
  • confusion
  • drowsiness
  • seizures
  • headache
  • weakness of the arms and/or legs

What are acute disseminated encephalomyelitis care options?

Treatments consist of a range immune system modulating medications including steroids and immunoglobulins. A process called plasmapheresis, in which immune system components are drawn from the blood, has also been helpful in treating acute disseminated encephalomyelitis.

Reviewed by: Anuj Jayakar, MD

This page was last updated on: March 30, 2023 03:48 PM

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