What is the definition of Myelitis?
Myelitis is the inflammation of the spinal cord, of which there are different types, such as acute flaccid myelitis and transverse myelitis. Acute flaccid myelitis is a rare but serious disease that causes weakness of the reflexes and muscles. Transverse myelitis causes a band-like sensation across the trunk of the body with lower sensory changes. Causes of both types of myelitis are believed to be infections, viruses, immune disorders, and other diseases which destroy the myelin sheath that covers nerve fibers.
What are the symptoms for Myelitis?
Signs and symptoms of myelitis include sudden weakness, facial or eye drooping, difficulty swallowing, slurred speech, loss of muscle tone or reflexes in the arms and/or legs, pain, sensory deficits, and bowel or bladder problems. Symptoms may have a sudden or slow, progressive onset. Severe symptoms may include respiratory failure or serious neurological complications.
What are the current treatments for Myelitis?
While there is no specific treatment for acute flaccid myelitis, some specialists may recommend physical therapy. Some patients recover from transverse myelitis over a period of months to years, while others may suffer permanent disabilities or recurrence of the disease. Treatments for transverse myelitis include corticosteroids and immunosuppressive drugs, plasmapheresis, or antiviral therapy.