Demyelinating Disease

Also known as: demyelination, demyelinating diseases of the brain, ADEM (acute disseminated encephalomyelitis), MS (multiple sclerosis), Optic neuritis, NMO (Neuromyelitis optica), ATM (acute transverse myelitis).

What is demyelinating disease?

The myelin sheath is a protective fatty material that wraps, protects and insulates the nerve fibers of the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves. It enables brain signals to travel quickly along nerves to the rest of the body. Any disease that causes damage to the myelin sheath that slows or stops nerve signals is called a demyelinating disease. There are a number of demyelinating diseases in childhood, of which Pediatric Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an uncommon one.


What causes demyelinating disease? 

Causes are multifactorial and include genetic, postinfectious, post-immunization, and autoimmune (the body produces proteins which damage its own tissue).


What are the symptoms of demyelinating disease? 

There are many common clinical, radiological and laboratory features and a wide variation in the way each particular disease presents, develops, which and how many nerves are involved, and whether the process fluctuates (gets better than worse again) or not.   Symptoms of demyelinating disease can include muscle weakness, muscle spasms, loss of coordination, pain, vision loss, changes in bladder and bowel function and other problems.


What are demyelinating disease care options?

No cure exists for demyelinating diseases; early recognition, supportive care and early treatment with medications may help minimize and manage symptoms. Rehabilitation therapies are of particular importance.


Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 6/12/2018 9:40:30 AM


Upcoming Events

2018 Pediatric Autism Symposium: Ensuring Long Term Outcomes in Children Birth to Five

This one day course will include educational sessions, case studies, and panel discussions that highlight evidence-based information for managing Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and other related disabilities for children ages birth to 5. Learn more.

Register Online

How to Thrive at School After a Brain Tumor Diagnosis

The Nicklaus Children’s Cancer & Blood Disorders Center, together with the Brain Institute is proud to host this free event designed to deliver education, support and guidance for children diagnosed with brain tumors and their caregivers. Learn more.

Weekly Support Programs

Brain Wellness: Yoga for Kids

Participants will learn to optimize neurological potential across the developing age and care continuum, to provide other treatment modalities to optimize results, to provide options for our patients and families, to provide options for our patients and families, and more! Learn more.

From the Newsdesk

Dental Health in Children with Seizures
Children with Seizures can present many dental problems due to the oral side effects of the seizure medications.
Get your FREE Water Watcher Card here!
Prevent drowning and accidents when children are near water by assigning a responsible adult to wear a Water Watcher Badge. The badge wearer takes responsibility to supervise the children until hading off to the next water watcher. Available at selected urgent care centers while supplies last.

Video

video
The latest and most innovative techniques there are to help children who suffer from epilepsy