Which factors may reduce the risk 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

Recently, several factors have been suggested to modify risk for multiple sclerosis.

  • A factor that may reduce the risk for such autoimmune illness is the type and degree of early childhood infectious illness, due to favorable effects on the early childhood development of immunoregulatory function.

  • Suggestions have also been made about potential positive effects of early childhood sun exposure via vitamin D-related effects on immunoregulatory function.

Prevention of early childhood illnesses that might have favorable effects on immunoregulation and reduced sun exposure may be elements that account for what appears to be a dramatic increase in prevalence of certain forms of autoimmune illness over the past 4 decades in wealthier countries of the world. These assertions have provoked scientific investigation of considerable interest, but the conclusions remain incompletely verified and their relevance to ADEM remains quite uncertain.


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