Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (Encyclopedia of Neurological Disorders)
Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADE) is a neurological disorder involving inflammation of the brain and spinal cord. A hallmark of the disorder is damage to the myelin sheath that surrounds the nerve fibers in the brain, which results in the inflammation.
Acute disseminating encephalomyelitis was first described in the mid-eighteenth century. The English physician who first described the disorder noted its association with people who had recently recovered from smallpox. Symptoms often develop without warning. As well, mental disorientation can occur. The disorder is also known as postinfectious encephalomyelitis and immune-mediated encephalomyelitis. The nerve demyelination that occurs in ADE also occurs in multiple sclerosis. However, the two maladies differ in that multiple sclerosis is long lasting and can recur over time, while ADE has a monophasic course, meaning that once it is over, further attacks rarely occur.
ADE can occur in both children and adults, although it occurs more commonly in children. ADE is not rare, accounting for approximately 30% of all cases of encephalitis (brain inflammation).
Causes and symptoms
Acute disseminating encephalomyelitis can occur as a...
(The entire section is 1046 words.)
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