Symptoms and Diagnosis of ADEM
What are the symptoms of ADEM?
The location of the inflammation (swelling) within the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves determines what symptoms occur.
- Heacache (can be prolonged and severe in children)
- Nausea and vomiting
- Confusion, drowsiness or coma
- Weakness in the arms or legs
- Unstead walk (ataxia)
- Numbness or tingling (sensory changes)
- Trouble with vision, often in both eyes (optic neuritis)
- Trouble swallowing
How is ADEM diagnosed?
- A medical history including recent history of infection or vaccination.
- A neurological examination with some of the above findings
- Brain and spinal cord MRI scans
- A lumbar puncture (spinal tap) to make sure there is no infection in the spinal fluid such as meningitis or encephalitis
- Blood tests to look for infectious triggers and for other conditions that can be confused with ADEM