Transverse myelitis


What is transverse myelitis?

Transverse myelitis is a condition that affects the central nervous system and is characterised by inflammation of the spinal cord. This inflammation damages myelin which is the substance that protects nerve cells and as a result interrupts the sending of messages between the spinal cord and the rest of the body.

What causes transverse myelitis?

The exact cause of transverse myelitis is unknown but it is thought to be due to an autoimmune reaction in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the spinal cord resulting in inflammation.

What are the symptoms of transverse myelitis?

The symptoms of transverse myelitis vary depending on which part of the spinal cord is inflamed, the severity and the amount of damage.

Common symptoms include:

  • Muscle weakness in the legs
  • Unusual sensations in the body
  • Back pain
  • Bladder and bowel problems
  • Sexual dysfunction.

Are you affected by transverse myelitis?

If you’re affected by transverse myelitis, The Brain Charity can support you.

We are the only charity in the UK to be here for every one of the more than 600 different neurological conditions in existence. Individually, many are rare, but combined, they affect 1 in 6 people.

We provide practical help on all aspects of living with transverse myelitis, emotional support such as counselling, phone befriending and group therapy and social activities to people with transverse myelitis from all over the UK from our centre in Liverpool.

Looking to talk to someone?

Woman smiling, making eye contact and holding the hand of another woman to comfort her

Phone us

Contact The Brain Charity now

Our friendly Information & Advice Officers are here to help. We endeavour to respond to all enquiries within 10 working days.

0151 298 2999

Looking to talk to someone?

  • Please tell us which neurological condition you are affected by and what you need support with.

Caring for someone with transverse myelitis

We support carers, friends and family too

Are you a carer for or relative of someone with transverse myelitis? It’s just as important for you to look after your own physical and mental wellbeing too.

The Brain Charity provides free support for carers, friends and family of people with any form of neurological condition, including transverse myelitis, from anywhere in the UK.

We also run an additional carers advocacy service for all carers in Liverpool, regardless of which type of condition the person they care for has.

You don’t need to be a formal or registered carer

We can help you even if you don’t view yourself as a formal carer or claim Carer’s Allowance. Find out some of the ways we support carers below.

Other resources

The Brain Charity's library

The Brain Charity’s library has a range of resources on transverse myelitis and on many other disability-related issues.

Support groups

The TM Society Zoom meet ups

Monthly online zoom meetings that provide an opportunity for those affected by transverse myelitis to meet others.



The Brain & Spine Foundation neuro social

Weekly online support group for anyone affected by a neurological condition to meet others and to give each other support.


Phone: 08088081000


The Brain & Spine Foundation neuro carers

Monthly online support group that provides an opportunity for carers of those who have a neurological condition to meet others and to give each other support.


Phone: 0808 808 1000


Support groups at The Brain Charity

Are you interested in setting up a transverse myelitis support group, or do you already run one? Email to let us know.

Alternatively, you can check out our list of related support groups here.

Other charities

The Brain & Spine Foundation

The Brain & Spine Foundation aims to improve the lives of those affected by neurological problems through providing information, education and support.


Phone: 08088081000


The TM Society

The TM Society provides support and information to those who have transverse myelitis and those around them.