Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology
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Year : 2006  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 20-24

Clinical features and outcome of acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM): An outlook from South India

1 Department of Neurology, Lourdes Hospital, Kochi - 682 023, Kerala, India
2 Department of Neurology, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute of Medical Sciences, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Boby Varkey Maramattom
Department of Neurology, Lourdes Hospital, Kochi - 682 023, Kerala
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-2327.22817

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Introduction: Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) is an uncommon inflammatory demyelinating encephalomyelitis that may follow infections, vaccinations or occur spontaneously. Most of the large series of this disorder were published in the pre-MRI era. Subsequently there has been a paucity of data regarding this entity. Aims: We sought to describe our experience with ADEM across 2 hospitals from Kerala, Sree chitra tirunal institute of medical sciences, thiruvanthapuram and the Indo-american Brain and spine center, Vaikom. We wanted to look at the clinico-radiological parameters of this patient population as well as the functional outcome following ADEM. Materials and Methods: A total of 45 patients seen in these two centers over a period of 9 years from 1995 to 2003 were analyzed in a retrospective-prospective design. MRI, CT scans, laboratory investigations, nerve conduction parameters and modified rankin outcome scores at last follow up were also noted. Results: The clinico-radiological profile of our patients was comparable to that of patients described in the literature. Relapse was uncommon although transient reappearance of prior symptoms during subsequent illness was common. Possible multiple sclerosis could be diagnosed only in one patient during follow up. Mortality was low (<5%). However, most survivors were left with varying degrees of disability. Conclusions: ADEM deserves to be distinguished from MS in our population as there seems to be a low likelihood of recurrence or relapse. Although mortality rates have improved greatly, survivors are left with a plethora of disabilities and are functionally impaired. Future studies should focus on specific disabilities and treatment options to further improve outcomes in ADEM

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