Acute flaccid myelitis: Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

Acute flaccid myelitis

We have too many diseases at hand to worry about. Some are threatening and others just cause temporary trouble but all of these are a part of our lives that we are forced to deal with. While it is not possible to do away with the diseases completely, a certain amount of awareness regarding certain rare diseases definitely helps to move a step towards safety.

Here is all the information that you might need to know about acute flaccid myelitis. This polio like disease may be of very rare occurrence but such serious are its consequences that if faced with this threat you should know the whereabouts of this disease inside out.

What is acute flaccid myelitis?

Spinal-Cord-The first question that comes to mind when we talk of this relatively unknown disease is that what exactly is this acute flaccid myelitis. To put it simply, this is a sub part of transverse myelitis. It results in the inflammation which occurs in the spinal cord. This in turn creates a situation where the MRI features are not exactly similar to the classical transverse myelitis. The grey matter of the spinal cord is usually the source of the MRI irregularities that surface.


The statistics for this disease is not the best held document. The reports are scanty but the records are not complete. Besides, the non inclusion of individuals above the age of 22 also creates some problems in determining the exact numbers. It however needs to be noted that kids as well as adults can suffer from this disease or a form of this disease. However it is more common for the children who are below the age of 18 years to suffer from this condition. It may be a rare occurrence but is by no means any less threatening than some of its more popular counterparts.

Signs and symptoms to look for

weakness-in-the-limb-musclesThere are many tell tale signs of acute flaccid myelitis. It is mostly characterized with a weakness in the limb muscles, oral and eye muscles or face mucles. The intensity of the effects are subtle at times but on some occasions they are very severe. It varies from person to person and the variety of the form of this disease that affected the individual. Some for instance have no issues with bladder and bowel movements while some others report severe problems in this regard. These are some of the common symptoms in adults that you must look forward to.

The diagnosis process

If there exists any prevailing injury to the lower motor neuron can be checked by the tests like MRI and lumbar puncture or even a nerve conduction study. Respiratory tests and the blood tests can also come up with conclusive evidence that shows acute flaccid myelitis. Once the tests have been conducted and the reports have proven the existence of this disease, you can begin with the treatment process.

Treatment procedure

immunityThere exists no specific treatment for this disease which can be quite frustrating. However as a part of the natural treatment method, what is done are attempts to reduce the inflammation by some means. Although a variant of transverse myelitis, similar treatments seem to get no result for this particular disease. The treatment too cannot be generalized and needs to be varied according to the place and demands. The main target however is the removal of the inflammation in the spinal cord and to somehow prevent the immunity system of the body from attacking.

There is a thought in the medical circuit that for those in very early stage of this disease and affected by the weaker of the variants, it can be curable completely. The problem is that till date there is no such conclusive evidence to show.

Form of treatment

Like we have already discussed the form of the treatment methods have to be customized to suit the requirements. Since the problems faced by the individuals vary greatly from one another, the targeted treatment too is different. For example if someone is affected more by the nervous problems then the treatment procedure is more targeted and focused to heal these ailments.

Some long term care tips for acute flaccid myelitis

DepressionThe disease is of a somewhat serious in nature and thus it must be seen to it that there is a sufficiently well informed rehabilitation process. The reintroduction into the society and school might be extremely difficult and traumatic for the patient in the initial days before they adapt to these. It is important at this juncture that you lead your kid with grace and slowly let him get used to the changes.

  • Bladder control: This is an issue with this polio like disease and many patients have faced this issue of sudden loss of the control of the bladder and bowel movements. For such instances, the treatment process focuses wholly on easing out this particular problem.
  • Stay away from depression: We completely agree that this disease is among the most unfortunate diseases that can affect you. Your lifestyle takes a turn for the worse and your social life is hit as well. All this combined with the thought that there is no such direct treatment for acute placid myelitis can be a gateway to depression. The patient thus must be made to seek proper counseling. It is also important that he or she is promoted to have a social life however little is possible so as to keep the mind occupied. If depression sets in the treatment process simply becomes all the more difficult.

Final words

If at all you or your loved one is affected by this disease, do not panic and try the natural treatment method alongside the conventional treatment methods that are around. While it is not exactly healed, this polio like disease can be fought by adopting certain forms of treatment and practices.

Today's Top Articles:

Scroll to Top