Understanding Transverse Myelitis
Transverse Myelitis is condition resulting from inflammation of the spinal cord.1 The spinal cord acts as a bridge between the brain and the rest of the body as it contains nerves which communicate signals to and from the brain to different parts of the body.
In Transverse Myelitis, as a result of the inflammation of the spinal cord, the nerves and the myelin sheath which protects the nerve fibers gets damaged resulting in lack of communication between the brain and the other parts of the body causing a variety of symptoms like paresthesias, bowel and bladder dysfunction, ambulation difficulties, and pain.
Transverse Myelitis can be caused due to an infection or an autoimmune disorder.1 This condition affects males and females alike and is usually seen in individuals between ages 20-40.
What Is The Overall Prognosis For Transverse Myelitis?
Transverse Myelitis is a condition which does not have a cure. Normally, an individual usually has one attack of Transverse Myelitis although there have been cases where individuals have had multiple attacks of Transverse Myelitis as well. The maximum recovery from this condition takes place during the first three months of the onset of symptoms after which the recovery is minimal.1
The prognosis for individuals with severe symptoms of Transverse Myelitis is somewhat guarded and such individuals are always left with sequelae of the condition like ambulation difficulties or muscle weakness. Prognosis for individuals who show no recovery within six months of symptom onset is poor with little chance of them recovering completely from Transverse Myelitis.
The prognosis for Transverse Myelitis improves somewhat in cases where the patient undergoes aggressive physical therapy and rehabilitation. In such cases, even though there may not be complete recovery the patient may carry out his or her activities of daily living. In some cases, individuals completely recover and then have a relapse of the condition from which it becomes difficult to recover.
In conclusion, the prognosis for individuals with Transverse Myelitis is somewhat guarded, although there have been cases where patients have made complete recovery from this condition. Aggressive physical therapy and rehabilitation along with medications improve the prognosis but the individual will always have some sequelae of Transverse Myelitis.