Most pediatricians report lack of knowledge related to the understanding of the diagnosis and treatment of both acute disseminating encephalomyelitis and acute transvers myelitis. Pediatric providers should understand presenting symptoms, initial diagnostic testing, and acute treatment. Clinicians should know when to refer to a neurologist for evaluation of long-term treatment.

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Acquired demyelinating syndromes (ADSs) encompass a group of immune-mediated disorders in which there is breakdown of the myelin sheath, the lipid-rich covering around the axon that increases conduction speed and metabolic efficiency of the neuron. ADSs are characterized by a sudden onset of new neurologic symptoms in concurrence with neuroimaging evidence of demyelination. Outcomes vary from full neurologic recovery to long-term severe disability. ADSs are characterized based on location and frequency of the demyelinating events. Location is either focal, limited to 1 specific location, or polyfocal, involving several areas of the...

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