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Demyelination: what it is and what are the symptoms to recognize it

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A serious pathology that must be kept under control: let’s find out more about demyelination and how to recognize it.

Demyelination is a process that affects the myelin sheaths of the fibers of the nervous system. When it occurs it can lead to various diseases, recognizable through very specific symptoms. So let’s find out what it is exactly and how to recognize it in time .

girl with migraine
girl with migraine

Demyelinating disease: what it is

To better understand what a demyelinating disease is it is important to know that the nerves of our body are protected by a coating called myelin. It is a protective sheath that allows the correct functioning of the same. When myelin becomes damaged (demyelination), the nerves no longer function as they should and this can lead to problems both in the brain and throughout the body.

Demyelination can be inflammatory or viral. In the first case it is activated by an inflammation in progress and for which the immune system attacks the myelin. The second, however, can occur due to some viral infections . Other causes include lack of oxygen, some metabolic problems, and physical compression.

Among the most well-known diseases caused by demyelination are multiple sclerosis, ALS, Guillain-Barre syndrome, optic neutritis and lucoencephalopathy.

Demyelination: the most common symptoms

Among the most common symptoms of demyelinating syndrome are:

– Sense of numbness
– Blurred vision
– Dizziness
– Memory problems
– Exhaustion
– Problems in bowel and bladder control
– Uncoordinated movements
– Lack of reflexes
– Palpitations

Generally, for a precise diagnosis, a neurological examination with possible magnetic resonance imaging is required. Then there are genetic and sensory tests followed by more specific tests that are usually prescribed if a specific disease is suspected.

As for the treatments, however, to date there are no really effective ones. However, there are medications, such as corticosteroids, which can delay the onset of symptoms and make them less severe. This can often be combined with physiotherapy and other medicines capable of avoiding further attacks on the myelin sheaths.

In addition, there are also studies regarding vitamin D and its possible contribution in reducing the immune system’s response to inflammation.

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