What are the racial predilections for acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM)?

Updated: Nov 08, 2018
  • Author: J Nicholas Brenton, MD; Chief Editor: Tarakad S Ramachandran, MBBS, MBA, MPH, FAAN, FACP, FAHA, FRCP, FRCPC, FRS, LRCP, MRCP, MRCS  more...
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Answer

The scientifically imprecise concept of race does not lend itself readily to discussions of ADEM. In the author's (RSR) series of more than 150 cases, the ratio of light-skinned to dark-skinned individuals who have some contribution of genetic material from individuals who have left Africa in the past 5 centuries is approximately 6:1. In the former group, the element of African heritage from the past 5 centuries is presumed small but is in fact unknown. ADEM is found in all ethnic groups and races; referral bias complicates any assessment of relative prevalence.

Regardless of race, the degree of skin pigmentation directly influences vitamin D status in any given individual. [66] Several studies have implicated vitamin D deficiency as a contributing risk factor for multiple sclerosis, [70, 68, 67] though these studies have not been performed within ADEM cohorts.


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