Transverse myelitis is a rare neurological disorder that affects the spinal cord, causing inflammation and damage to the myelin sheath, which is the protective covering around nerve fibers. This damage can disrupt communication between the nerves in the spinal cord and the rest of the body, leading to a variety of symptoms.
Some common symptoms of transverse myelitis include:
The exact cause of transverse myelitis is not always clear, but it is thought to be related to an autoimmune response, where the body's immune system mistakenly attacks the myelin sheath. Other causes may include viral or bacterial infections, exposure to certain medications or toxins, or other underlying medical conditions.
Treatment for transverse myelitis aims to manage symptoms, promote healing, and prevent complications. This may include high-dose corticosteroid therapy, plasma exchange, or other immunosuppressive medications. Rehabilitation therapies such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, or speech therapy may also be helpful to manage symptoms and improve quality of life.