Autoimmune and Demyelinating Diseases
The nerve cells that send information through the brain and spinal cord are like wires that send electrical messages. Like wires, nerve cells are wrapped in insulation. Supportive cells called glia
wrap the nerve cells in a substance called myelin
, which both protects the nerve and speeds up the transfer of information. In demyelinating diseases, these supportive cells die, often because the immune system has mistaken the glial cell for something dangerous. The most familiar example of demyelinating disease is multiple sclerosis, but there are others such as Devic’s disease, acute disseminated encephalomalacia (ADEM), and transverse myelitis. Learn more about this family of diseases here.
About Multiple Sclerosis
The About Guide Site for Multiple Sclerosis
Transverse myelitis is when the body's immune system attacks the spinal cord, resulting in inflammation that leads to rapid sensory changes and paralysis. While this disorder can be devastating, it is also often treatable.
Subacute Combined Degeneration
A low vitamin B12 level can cause changes in thinking, sensation, and even the ability to walk. Despite being frequently found in most diets, a low B12 level is not uncommon. Learn why here.