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Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis - ADEM

Names

Description

Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis
ADEM

Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM) is a brief but intense attack of inflammation in the brain and spinal cord and occasionally the optic nerves that damages the brain’s myelin (the white coating of nerve fibers).

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Prevalence

Cases in the US: 1200-2500 per year
Source: Orphanet

Notes
1. ADEM is very rare
2. ADEM is episodic. Patients experience a full recovery from the disease, which often occurs following an infection or vaccination. Therefore it is not considered chronic and it is not included in our prevalence statistics

Typical Age of onset

Childhood: 80% of patients are under 10
Rare in patients over 20

Symptoms

Confusion
Drowsiness
Unsteadiness
Falling
Blurred vision
Double vision
Difficulty swallowing
Weakness in arms
Weakness in legs
Seizures

Sources:  Cleveland Clinic