Neuroimmunology Conditions We Treat

Acute demyelinating diseases are acquired immune-mediated myelin sheath disorders and include:

  • Multiple sclerosis (MS): A chronic, degenerative condition that results in visual loss, weakness, and loss of coordination
  • Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM): A brief but intense attack of inflammation in the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves that causes damage to the myelin sheath and may occur in association with a viral or bacterial infection, or as a complication of inoculation or vaccination
  • Acute transverse myelitis: A sudden inflammation of the spinal cord that progresses rapidly and may be caused by demyelinating disease, direct infection, or due to other autoimmune diseases, such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
  • Optic neuritis: The inflammation of the optic nerve, leading to a complete or partial loss of vision
  • Neuromyelitis optica (NMO or Devic’s disease): An autoimmune, inflammatory disorder of the optic nerves and spinal cord, that may lead to varying degrees of weakness or paralysis in the legs or arms, loss of sensation, blindness, and/or bladder and bowel problems
  • Clinically isolated syndromes (CIS): A term that describes an initial neurologic episode that lasts at least 24 hours and is caused by inflammation/demyelination in the central nervous system

Other neuroimmune disorders in children:

  • Primary CNS (central nervous system) vasculitis: Autoimmune inflammation of the blood vessel wall inside the brain and occasionally the spinal cord that produces a wide range of neurological symptoms, such as:
    • Headache
    • Difficulty moving
    • Changes in sensation, perception, thoughts, or behavior

Similar symptoms can arise from other connective tissue diseases, such as SLE. In addition to vessel wall inflammation, there may be patchy inflammatory lesions throughout the brain.

  • Steroid-responsive encephalitis associated with autoimmune thyroiditis (SREAT; also called Hashimoto encephalitis): A rare CNS inflammatory disease associated with an autoimmune disease in which the thyroid gland is gradually destroyed by the immune processes of the cells and antibodies
  • Paraneoplastic and non-neoplastic autoimmune encephalitis: Inflammation of the brain either with or without the presence of cancer

Learn more about Child Neurology.