Vaccinations including the flu shot, MMR vaccine, and Hepatitis B vaccine among others, can cause Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis. Commonly referred to as ADEM, symptoms may begin immediately after vaccination, or take up to a few weeks to arise. Encephalomyelitis is an attack of inflammation of the brain and spinal cord that can be caused by an infection or vaccination. ADEM causes the myelin, a protecting covering around the nerves, to be damaged, different than that of a flu shot rotator cuff injury. Encephalomyelitis symptoms can include fever, headache, drowsiness, seizures, and comas. The symptoms may present mildly at first but can worsen very quickly without a timely diagnosis and proper treatment.
ADEM can sometimes be confused for multiple sclerosis due to the fact that both conditions cause lesions to form on the brain and spinal cord, damaging myelin. The resulting symptoms are often similar. However, ADEM is an acute condition, meaning it occurs once and it occurs quickly. In addition, ADEM will usually cause high fevers. Fevers are not associated with multiple sclerosis.
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Encephalomyelitis symptoms are generally caused by inflammation. Therefore, most treatment is dedicated to reducing inflammation through the use of steroids. In some cases, Intravenous Immunoglobulin Treatment (“IVIG”) may be used as well. Many ADEM patients recover within about six (6) months. However, in some cases the patient may suffer from continuing neurological symptoms, such as numbness or weakness, for an undeterminable length of time.
If you or someone you know received a vaccination and were diagnosed with Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis, contact My Vaccine Lawyer today. You may be entitled to compensation from the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.
Page last reviewed and updated: December 1, 2020