Bengaluru: A two-and-a-half-year-old boy, suffering from a rare brain inflammatory condition, was successfully treated at a city hospital.
The boy was suffering from the condition called Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM), which affects one in 1,25,000 to 2,50,000 individuals in a year.
The child was brought to a hospital with a complaint that the fever had lasted more than a week.
He also had difficulty in swallowing (could not even swallow his own saliva), aphasia (loss of acquired ability to speak) and prolonged episodes of seizures.
After MRI scanning and cerebro-spinal fluid testing, doctors identified it as ADEM. It is described as a life-threatening illness that targets the central nervous system and spinal cord cells.
In this immune-mediated disorder, there is widespread inflammation of the brain and spinal cord, further damaging the nerve tissue.
According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, ADEM can appear at any age.
However, children are more likely than adults to develop it. More than 80 percent of childhood cases occur in patients younger than 10 years.
Most of the remaining cases occur between the ages of 10 and 20, but ADEM is rarely diagnosed in adults.
The treatment was performed by a team of doctors led by Dr Yogesh Kumar Gupta, Consultant-Pediatrician and Intensivist, Head of PICU, and Dr Ashok Kumar Singhal, Consultant-Neurology from Fortis Hospitals, Bannerghatta Road.
Dr Gupta said, “The child had lost the ability to think and react, as, in this condition, the protective covering of nerve fibers (Myelin) that makes up part of the central nervous system responsible for carrying messages between the brain and the body gets damaged.”
After the confirmation of the disease, the child was started on IV corticosteroids. “Corticosteroids help by reducing the inflammation and controlling the immune reaction. The child started showing recovery signs on the third day of the medication and after eight days he could react, speak and was normal like before. What makes this case interesting is his complete recovery. Majority ADEM cases would end up in some or other neurological deficit,” he said.The child’s parents said, “Our child’s recovery progression went from zero to 100 in a matter of eight days, thanks to the continuous monitoring and care by doctors and the hospital staff.”