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.