How does the incidence of acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) vary by age?

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

More than 80% of childhood cases occur in patients younger than 10 years, with a mean age range of 5 to 8 years. [47, 63, 71] . Somewhat less than 20% of cases occur in the second decade of life. Incidence in adulthood is unclear, accounting for less than 3% of the reported cases; however, diagnostic overlap with MS may lead to underestimation of the prevalence in adults. [39] Adult-onset cases of particular severity are recognized upon the basis of biopsy. These cases may manifest very large white matter lesions that involve, as is the case with childhood-onset cases, the gray-white junction of forebrain.


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