Myelitis(redirected from descending myelitis)
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inflammation of the spinal cord.
Primary myelitides are caused by various neurotropic viruses; secondary myelitides are caused by infections, allergies, and injuries. The inflammation is rarely isolated to the spinal cord; the sheath of the spinal cord and the nerve roots are also often affected. Primary focal myelitis develops in acute form and is characterized by elevation in temperature, pain, and disturbances of nervous-system function. Death of nerve cells results in flaccid paralyses, segmental disturbance of sensitivity, and spastic pareses; pelvic disturbances (urinary or fecal incontinence or retention) are not uncommon. Bedsores, edema, and hyperhidrosis are often encountered.
Treatment includes vitamin therapy and administration of antibiotics and desensitizing agents; orthopedic packs are suggested to relieve paralysis. Treatment during the period of myelitis sequelae includes massage, exercise, balneotherapy, and administration of stimulants.
L. O. BADALIAN