Having Transverse Myelitis is not something that many people are aware of, but it can be a serious health problem. This is why you should know what the symptoms are, what to do about them, and how to prevent them. You also need to understand what the treatment is and how to get the best care for your condition.
Symptoms of transverse myelitis (TM) include pain, changes in sensation, and paralysis. This disease is caused by inflammation of the spinal cord. This inflammation interferes with the communication between nerve fibers and the central nervous system.
Symptoms of transverse myelitis are often sudden and are often accompanied by other symptoms, such as muscle spasms, numbness, and weakness. The symptoms usually affect both sides of the body and can be severe. TM can cause permanent disabilities and a person’s prognosis will depend on the severity of the symptoms.
There are many different causes of transverse myelitis, including infections and immune system disorders. About 40 percent of the cases are associated with inflammatory conditions. In addition, some people are affected by the disease because of autoimmune diseases. Fortunately, some treatments have been shown to improve patient outcomes.
During the initial treatment, anti-inflammatory drugs, like steroids, are commonly used. These medications can help reduce swelling and inflammation in the spine. The steroid may be given intravenously for up to three to seven days. Some patients also respond well to oral steroids. These medications can help ease the symptoms of transverse myelitis.
Plasma exchange therapy is also an option. This therapy removes harmful antibodies and other substances that may aggravate the condition. This can be an effective treatment for people who are unable to use corticosteroids.
Physical therapy can also help to improve the coordination and strength of a person. It can also help a person regain control over his or her bowels and bladder. Depending on the symptoms and extent of the disease, a person can expect to undergo physical therapy for a period of up to two years.
There are support groups that can be helpful for people who suffer from the lingering effects of transverse myelitis. This can include depression, anxiety, and stress. There are also studies being conducted to better understand how the immune system attacks the protective myelin.
There is no cure for transverse myelitis. It is a progressive disease that typically develops after a viral infection. It is important to get a proper diagnosis and treatment to reduce the symptoms and prevent the disease from reoccurring.
Getting a diagnosis of transverse myelitis is important. The condition can cause symptoms such as paralysis, chronic pain, and weakness of the arms and legs. If left untreated, the condition can develop into a serious condition that can have long-term consequences. However, with the right treatment, patients can regain normal function.
The first step in making a diagnosis of transverse myelitis involves a comprehensive medical history. Blood tests and a spinal tap are also used to rule out other disorders. If these tests are positive, the patient may undergo imaging to check for inflammation in the spinal cord. Depending on the diagnosis, a rehabilitation plan will be created. The OHSU Multiple Sclerosis Center has doctors and researchers who understand how to treat this disease.
The first line of treatment for transverse myelitis is intravenous glucocorticoids. These medications work by fighting inflammation and decreasing the amount of spinal cord damage. If the condition doesn’t respond to the medication, plasma exchange therapy can be used to remove substances that cause inflammation.
Other treatments can include immunosuppression medications. These changes the immune system’s reaction to the disorder. In addition, the patient can undergo vocational therapy. This helps them find employment and gain functional independence. The OHSU Multiple Sclerosis Center provides a team approach to determining the best possible treatment for each patient.
If the patient’s symptoms don’t respond to the corticosteroids, the doctor may prescribe plasmapheresis. This treatment removes the harmful antibodies.
In an attempt to determine the exact cause of the disorder, blood tests can be used to look for substances called antibodies. These antibodies are often the first signs of an autoimmune disease. If the antibodies are present, the doctor will be able to establish a definite diagnosis.
Another way to determine the cause of transverse myelitis is to perform a lumbar puncture. This procedure takes a sample of the spinal fluid and analyzes it for proteins, white blood cells, and other substances. If the spinal tap is positive, the doctor can rule out viral infections. In addition, MRI scans can show if there are lesions in the spinal cord. Using these tests, the doctor can make an accurate diagnosis of transverse myelitis.
Symptoms of transverse myelitis (TM) can occur at any age and may be caused by many different factors. This disease is characterized by an abnormal response by the body’s immune system to tissues in the body. This results in inflammation and damage to the myelin sheath surrounding nerve cells. Symptoms can include numbness, muscle pain, and weakness. Typically, people have one episode of TM, but a few may have recurrences.
The first line of treatment for TM is intravenous steroids. These drugs are given through a vein in the arm and can help reduce inflammation in the spine. They may also decrease the activity of the immune system. They are often followed by oral steroids.
In addition to these medications, a patient may need physical therapy. This may help improve their mobility, strength, and coordination. Some patients also need neuro-rehabilitation to improve their quality of life. Rehabilitation can prevent future complications.
Other therapies include plasma exchange and plasmapheresis. These treatments remove harmful antibodies from the blood and replace them with a new blood type. These treatments may be used when the intravenous steroids do not work as well. Those who do not respond to plasma exchange therapy may need to continue receiving corticosteroid drugs.
The diagnosis of transverse myelitis requires a complete medical history, physical examination, and neurological tests. In addition, blood tests can be used to rule out other conditions and to determine the underlying cause of the condition. This is important because knowing the cause can help determine the best course of treatment.
In the early stages of TM, a patient’s symptoms may start to show up within a few hours or days. These symptoms may include lower back pain, fever, and numbness or tingling in the legs. These symptoms can progress over a period of weeks or months. TM can also affect the bowel and bladder.
In the later stages of the illness, patients may develop total or partial paralysis. They may also have urinary incontinence and muscle spasticity. Depending on the severity of the disease, these symptoms can cause permanent neurological problems.
Symptoms of transverse myelitis range from a general feeling of discomfort to muscle spasms. Some people are left with a permanent disability while others recover. There is no cure for this condition. However, there are medications and treatments to help alleviate pain and keep the body functioning normally.
The first step to recovery from transverse myelitis is to determine the cause. Most cases of this disease are caused by viral infections. In addition, bacteria or fungi can be found in the spinal cord. A blockage of the blood vessel that supplies the spinal cord can also cause the disease. A CT scan is often used to make the diagnosis.
During treatment, the primary focus is on relieving inflammation and pain. Drugs such as steroids are typically prescribed to reduce inflammation. TENS therapy, or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, is also used to decrease painful feelings.
Some patients may not respond to plasma exchange, a procedure that removes harmful proteins from the blood. Other therapies may be used to control secondary symptoms, such as bowel and bladder dysfunction.
Depending on the severity of your condition, you may need to see a neurologist for treatment. A healthcare team will create a treatment plan based on your medical history and the specific symptoms you are experiencing. They may also prescribe immunosuppression drugs to change the immune response.
A doctor will examine you for any signs of other conditions that could be causing your symptoms. Your doctor may perform a spinal tap, a procedure that withdraws a small amount of fluid from the canal next to the spinal cord. This test can rule out other conditions that could be causing your symptoms.
In addition to surgery, you may need to undergo rehabilitative therapy, which will allow you to learn to live with your new condition. Rehabilitation can include occupational and physical therapists. You may require assistive devices for long-term use.
Most patients with transverse myelitis recover in about three months. Some have residual symptoms that continue for months or even years. Occasionally, patients will experience partial or total paralysis.
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