What is the role of vaccines in the development of 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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Various vaccines have been suggested as the exogenous provocation of cases of ADEM.

  • This remains a controversial subject, although clear evidence exists for the role of the Pasteur rabies vaccine and compelling, although somewhat less conclusive evidence exists for the role of other vaccines.

  • The overall effect of the introduction of vaccinations for measles and other encephalomyelitogenic viruses has been a marked reduction in the number of severe or fatal cases of ADEM.

  • Measles was associated with ADEM in about 1 out of 800 cases, and in many of these cases, ADEM that was often particularly severe. Measles-associated ADEM had a high rate of both morbidity and mortality.

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