- Inflammation of both the brain and the spinal cord. Encephalomyelitis can be caused by a variety of conditions that lead to inflammation of the brain and spinal cord. Among the common causes of encephalomyelitis are viruses which infect the nervous system. One type of encephalomyelitis, acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, occurs most commonly after an acute viral infection such as measles (rubeola) and is due to be an autoimmune attack upon the nervous system. "Encephalo-" comes from the Greek "enkephalon", brain. "Myelitis" is inflammation of the spinal cord. Encephalomyelitis is also called myeloencephalitis.
* * *Inflammation of the brain and spinal cord. [encephalo- + G. myelon, marrow, + -itis, inflammation]- acute disseminated e. an acute demyelinating disorder of the central nervous system, in which focal demyelination is present throughout the brain and spinal cord. This process is common to postinfectious, postexanthem, and postvaccinal e..- acute necrotizing hemorrhagic e. a fulminating demyelinating disorder of the central nervous system that affects mainly children and young adults. Almost always preceded by a respiratory infection, characterized by the abrupt onset of fever, headache, confusion, and nuchal rigidity, soon followed by focal seizures, hemiplegia, or quadriplegia, brainstem findings, and coma; the CSF shows evidence of an inflammatory process; due to the massive destruction of the white matter of one or both hemispheres, often accompanied by similar destruction of the white matter of the brainstem and cerebellar peduncles; of unknown etiology. SYN: acute hemorrhagic leukoencephalitis, acute necrotizing hemorrhagic leukoencephalitis, Hurst disease.- e. associated with carcinoma SYN: paraneoplastic encephalomyelopathy.- eastern equine e. (EEE) a form of mosquito-borne equine e. seen in the eastern U.S. and caused by the eastern equine e. virus, a species of Alphavirus, which belongs to the family Togaviridae; initial fever and viremia are followed by signs of central nervous system involvement (excitement, then somnolence, paralysis, and death); the incidence of clinical infection in humans is low but case fatality may be high.- equine e. an acute, often fatal, virus disease of horses and mules transmitted by mosquitoes and characterized by central nervous system disturbances; in the U.S., this disease is typically caused by one of three alphaviruses, and their resulting diseases are designated western equine, eastern equine and Venezuelan equine e.; these viruses belong to the family Togaviridae and can also cause neurologic disease in humans. SYN: equine encephalitis.- experimental allergic e. a demyelinating allergic e. produced by the injection of brain tissue, usually with an adjuvant. SYN: experimental allergic encephalitis.- granulomatous e. an e. in which granulomas occur.- herpes B e. a frequently lethal disease of humans caused by infection with a normally latent monkey herpesvirus.- mouse e. e. due to the mouse e. virus (a species of Enterovirus) which is not pathogenic in monkeys or in man, but attacks mouse colonies and causes a flaccid paralysis, usually of the hind limbs.- postvaccinal e. a severe type of e. that can follow the rabies vaccination. SYN: postvaccinal encephalitis.- Venezuelan equine e. (VEE) a form of mosquito-borne equine e. found in parts of South America, Panama, and Trinidad, caused by the Venezuelan equine e. virus (a species of Alphavirus in the family Togaviridae), and characterized by less central nervous system involvement than occurs in either eastern or western equine e.; fever, diarrhea, and depression are common; in humans, there is fever and severe headache after an incubation period of 2–5 days, and in a few cases there has been central nervous system involvement.- viral e., virus e. an e. due to a neurotropic virus.- western equine e. (WEE) an equine e. found in the western U.S. and parts of South America, transmitted by mosquitoes and caused by the western equine e. virus (a species of Alphavirus in the family Togaviridae); the infection is similar to but milder than eastern equine e. in humans and is, as a rule, inapparent, but some cases with central nervous system involvement have been fatal.- zoster e. inflammation of the brain and spinal cord caused by varicella-zoster virus, a member of the family Herpesviridae.
* * *en·ceph·a·lo·my·eli·tis in-.sef-ə-lō-.mī-ə-'līt-əs n, pl -elit·i·des -ə-'lit-ə-.dēz concurrent inflammation of the brain and spinal cord specif EQUINE ENCEPHALOMYELITIS see ACUTE DISSEMINATED ENCEPHALOMYELITIS, allergic encephalomyelitis, AVIAN ENCEPHALOMYELITISen·ceph·a·lo·my·elit·ic -ə-'lit-ik adj
* * *n.an acute inflammatory disease affecting the brain and spinal cord. It is sometimes part of an overwhelming virus infection but acute disseminated encephalomyelitis is a form of delayed tissue hypersensitivity provoked by a mild infection or vaccination 7-10 days earlier. Survival through the acute phase of the illness is often followed by a remarkably complete recovery.
* * *en·ceph·a·lo·my·eli·tis (en-sef″ə-lo-mi″ə-liґtis) inflammation involving both the brain and the spinal cord. Called also myeloencephalitis.
Medical dictionary. 2011.