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What are the symptoms of acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM)?

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ADEM comes on suddenly and worsens fast.

When their myelin is damaged, nerves can't pass signals correctly. That can cause muscle weakness and problems with balance and moving smoothly. You may have trouble seeing if ADEM attacks the myelin on the optic nerve, which sends signals from your eyes to your brain.

Other symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Sleepiness
  • Behavior changes such as fussiness or confusion
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Coma

SOURCES:

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: "NINDS Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis Information Page."

Medscape: "Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis."

The Transverse Myelitis Association: "Disease Information."

National Multiple Sclerosis Society: "Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM)."

Children's Healthcare of Atlanta: "Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM): Patient and Family Education."

National Organization for Rare Disorders: "Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis."

Cleveland Clinic: "Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM)."

Boston Children's Hospital: "Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM) Testing and Diagnosis," "Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis And Related Disorders Program at Boston Children's Hospital," "Treatments for Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM) in Children," "Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) symptoms & causes in children."

UpToDate: "Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis in children: Treatment and prognosis."

Reviewed by Neil Lava on May 6, 2018

SOURCES:

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: "NINDS Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis Information Page."

Medscape: "Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis."

The Transverse Myelitis Association: "Disease Information."

National Multiple Sclerosis Society: "Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM)."

Children's Healthcare of Atlanta: "Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM): Patient and Family Education."

National Organization for Rare Disorders: "Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis."

Cleveland Clinic: "Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM)."

Boston Children's Hospital: "Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM) Testing and Diagnosis," "Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis And Related Disorders Program at Boston Children's Hospital," "Treatments for Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM) in Children," "Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) symptoms & causes in children."

UpToDate: "Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis in children: Treatment and prognosis."

Reviewed by Neil Lava on May 6, 2018

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What causes acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM)?

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