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All information on transverse myelitis (TM) acute transverse myelitis causes of transverse myelitis symptoms of transverse myelitis diagnosis of transverse myelitis treatment for transverse myelitis

What're the symptoms of transverse myelitis?

Transverse myelitis can cause low back pain, spinal cord dysfunction, muscle spasms, a general feeling of discomfort, headache, loss of appetite, and numbness or tingling in the legs. Almost all patients develop leg weakness. The arms are involved in a minority of cases. (This depends upon the level of spinal cord involvement.) Sensation, pain and temperature sensation are typically diminished below the level of spinal cord involvement. Appreciation of vibration and joint position

sense may also be decreased. Bladder and bowel sphincter control is disturbed in the majority of cases. Many patients with transverse myelitis report a tight banding or girdle-like sensation around the trunk and that area may be very sensitive to touch.

Transverse myelitis may be either acute (developing over hours to several days) or subacute (developing over 1 to 2 weeks). Paraparesis often progresses to paraplegia (paralysis of the legs and lower part of the trunk). Urinary bladder and bowel dysfunction is common. Other conditions - such as stroke, blood vessel abnormalities and a tumor of the spinal cord - may cause signs and symptoms that mimic transverse myelitis. Multiple sclerosis (MS) also may affect the spinal cord. But it usually affects other parts of the nervous system as well. When MS does involve the spinal cord, it's more likely to affect only one side of the body and cause only partial paralysis and sensory loss. Fewer than 10 percent of people with acute transverse myelitis will develop MS.

Some people with transverse myelitis recover with few, if any, long-term problems. Others may have permanent impairments that affect their ability to perform daily tasks. The level of the spinal cord at which the damage occurs determines which parts of the body are affected. Damage at one segment will affect function at that segment and all segments below it. For example, damage in the neck (cervical) region usually affects both the arms and legs; damage in the upper back (thoracic) region usually affects only the legs.


More information on transverse myelitis

What's transverse myelitis? - Transverse myelitis (TM) is an uncommon neurological syndrome caused by inflammation of the spinal cord, characterized by weakness, back pain, and bowel and bladder problems.
What's acute transverse myelitis? - Acute transverse myelitis is a neurological disorder caused by inflammation of the spinal cord, the fatty insulating substance that covers nerve cells fibers.
What causes transverse myelitis? - Transverse myelitis may be caused by viral infections, spinal cord injuries, immune disorders or insufficient blood flow through the blood vessels in the spinal cord.
What're the symptoms of transverse myelitis? - Transverse myelitis can cause low back pain, spinal cord dysfunction, muscle spasms, headache, loss of appetite, and numbness or tingling in the legs.
How is transverse myelitis diagnosed? - A doctor will suspect transverse myelitis in any patient with a rapid onset of paralysis. Blood tests may be performed.
What's the treatment for transverse myelitis? - There is no specific treatment for transverse myelitis. The standard treatment is with high doses of corticosteroids. Another promising therapy is plasma exchange.
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