Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) is characterized by a brief but widespread attack ofinflammation in the brain and spinal cord that damages myelin – the protective covering of nervefibres. ADEM often follows viral or bacterial infections, or less often, vaccination for measles, mumps,or rubella. The symptoms of ADEM appear rapidly, beginning with encephalitis-like symptomssuch as fever, fatigue, headache, nausea and vomiting, and in the most severe cases, seizuresand coma. ADEM typically damages white matter (brain tissue that takes its name from the whitecolour of myelin), leading to neurological symptoms such as visual loss (due to inflammation of theoptic nerve) in one or both eyes, weakness even to the point of paralysis, and difficulty coordinatingvoluntary muscle movements.
In our experience of treating both children and adults with ADEM, we have found that it is essentialto integrate sensory motor skills to address their sensory impairment. Through this approach weare able to achieve motor recruitment and alter the motor selectivity and movement patterns. Visualabnormality is also a clinical symptom of ADEM and we have found our approach with use of ocularmotor skills has shown positive results with individual’s vision and in turn their balance.
We work closely with parents and family and teach everyone how to facilitate the best from thechild, relative, spouse or friend. The Birkdale Clinic has had a significant role within the TMSSociety, most specifically with the organisation of their last UK Conference in April 2011 whereFarshideh Bondarenko both presented and provided workshops. Furthermore we have attended twointernational conferences in USA, in both Dallas and Seattle.