A demyelinating disease is any condition that results in damage to the protective covering (myelin sheath) that surrounds nerve fibers in your brain, optic nerves and spinal cord.
When the myelin sheath is damaged, nerve impulses slow or even stop, causing neurological problems.
What are the symptoms of demyelinating disease?
Nerves are a key part of your body functions, so a wide range of symptoms can occur when nerves are affected by demyelination, including:
- loss of reflexes and uncoordinated movements.
- poorly controlled blood pressure.
- blurred vision.
- racing heart beat or palpitations.
- memory problems.
What are some demyelinating diseases?
The demyelinating diseases of the peripheral nervous system include:
- Guillain–Barré syndrome and its chronic counterpart, chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy.
- Anti-MAG peripheral neuropathy.
- Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease and its counterpart Hereditary neuropathy with liability to pressure palsy.
How many demyelinating diseases are there?
This is the most common demyelinating disorder. One in 500 people have it. It’s an autoimmune condition that attacks your brain, spinal cord, and optic nerve. There are four types, ranging from mild to severe.
Is demyelinating disease dangerous?
Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) causes inflammation in the brain and spinal cord. This can damage myelin and can lead to fever, exhaustion, headache, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes seizures. It can be life-threatening.