Encephalomyelitis: symptoms and treatment
Encephalomyelitis is a dangerous ailment that combines simultaneous damage to the spinal cord and brain. This pathology is very dangerous, since it can lead to the death of the patient. With acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, foci of lesions are observed, which are formed in various parts of both the spinal cord and the brain.
It is worth noting that the outcome of the progression of the ailment, can be different — from a full recovery to a lethal outcome. The forecast depends on:
- pathological process activity
- causes of progression of the disease;
- Timeliness of treatment, as well as correctly selected therapy
The causes of the progression of acute disseminated encephalomyelitis have not yet been thoroughly studied, as it remains a mystery to scientists why human immunity begins to produce proteins against their own nerve tissue. But during the research it was noticed that more often the pathology progresses after:
- viral infections. Especially those that were accompanied by the appearance on the skin of a person of a specific rash — chicken pox, rubella, herpes and so on
- an allergic reaction
- introduction of specific vaccines
- reducing the body’s reactivity.
Possible consequences of acute disseminated encephalomyelitis:
- complete recovery of the patient
- a slight neurological deficit (the consequence of the ailment is not considered to be severe)
- invalidating defect;
- the disease passes into multiple sclerosis.
Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis begins rapidly, and its symptoms are pronounced. It is worth noting that the symptoms directly depend on which part of the brain or spinal cord was affected. But at the initial stage of the progression of acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, the following signs are observed:
- general malaise
- Temperature increase is not observed in all clinical situations, but still occurs
- Symptoms of a viral disease (pain and sore throat, runny nose)
- lethargy can occasionally be replaced by increased excitement
- gastrointestinal upset
- There may be a tingling sensation in the legs. This symptom is rare.
Further symptoms depend on the affected area of the nervous system. Depending on this, clinicians identify several types of ailment.
In this case, the brain is involved in the pathological process. The patient experiences the following symptoms:
- Violation of pronunciation;
- limb paresis
- there may be a convulsive syndrome, which in its manifestations will be similar to an epileptic fit.
The inflammatory process affects the spinal cord and its roots. As a consequence, there are such symptoms:
- trophic changes in the skin;
- reduction of temperature and pain sensitivity in the body
- violated the full functioning of organs located in the small pelvis. The patient may experience incontinence of urine or feces, but there may be a violation of their excretion
- Pain syndrome spreading along the spine. By appearance it resembles a lumbago clinic.
The optic nerve is involved in the pathological process, as a result of which the functioning of the visual apparatus is disrupted. Symptoms are as follows:
- Visual function is significantly reduced
- the patient notes that a «veil» appeared before his eyes;
- pain in the orbit, which tends to increase. Typically, this happens if a person makes a sharp eye movement.
Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis affects the nuclei of the cranial nerves. This pathological process is evidenced by such signs:
- neuritis of the facial nerve
- impaired swallowing
- violation of the act of breathing.
Separately, it is worth mentioning myalgic encephalomyelitis. This form of pathology is relatively new. It is also called post-viral fatigue syndrome. Mialgic encephalomyelitis develops usually after a person has been ill with a viral nature or has been vaccinated. There are such symptoms:
- chronic fatigue;
- fast fatigue even after minor loads
- there is a pain syndrome in the joint area
- constant change of mood;
- disruption of the digestive tract
- muscle pain.
In rare clinical situations, the acute form of pathology can change into a chronic one. In this case, the ailment will proceed wavy — periods of exacerbation alternate with periods of remission. General cerebral symptoms disappear. A person manifests only signs of damage to certain areas of the spinal cord and the brain — paresis, paralysis, etc.
Treatment of the disease should be started immediately after the diagnosis was correctly established. In this case, the chances of a favorable outcome are significantly increased. It is important to accurately determine the localization of inflammatory foci. For this purpose, doctors use an MRI.
The treatment plan is based on the use of such drugs:
- antiviral drugs
- Vitamin Complexes
If necessary, then during the treatment the patient is connected to a cardiac monitor or to an artificial lung (in severe situations).
It is worth noting that the treatment of various folk remedies with this diagnosis is unacceptable. Pathology is very dangerous and without a properly chosen method of treatment, it can cause the death of the patient. Treatment with folk remedies can only be used as an auxiliary therapy and only with the permission of the attending physician. The main course of treatment for decoctions and infusions should not be.